You have probably seen it on a coffee mug or a bumper sticker. Or maybe one of those distressed signs you can buy at the farmers market.
“Everything Happens For A Reason”
It sounds so good, god it feels so good. It is exactly the kind of bullsh*t that makes you want to accept the world around you for what it is. To take the good with the bad and always look for the rainbow.
That’s okay, right? That how positive people live, isn’t it?
The perfect start to a bad day.
Let’s say that you are sitting in a coffee shop right now while you read this. Your laptop in front of you, coffee in hand. If you are like me, then this sounds like a great start to the day.
All of a sudden your coffee slips from your hand and spills all over your keyboard, seeping into your hard drive. It sizzles and smokes and the screen goes dead. Bye bye, laptop.
Now, please find the positive in this story. What good can come out of your laptop dying?
If you are one of those relentless riddle masters then you are trying to find a way to beat me and my metaphor. Your version likely ends with you going to buy a new laptop, where you meet the love of your life. You both try to buy the same laptop and your hands touch and you lock gazes. You find instant chemistry and it’s happily ever after. *tearful applause*
Sounds like the plot to every rom-com out there. The perfect end to a bad day. I think I’ve seen this movie a few times.
Thanks, Hollywood. This is why we can’t have reality.
Life doesn’t have to have a happy ending.
There is no positive angle to this story! It sucks that your laptop was destroyed and that that you just lost your lifeblood(aka, coffee) for the day! There is nothing happy going to come out of this and there is no lesson to be learned.
You should get used to the idea that life doesn’t have to have a happy ending.
And it’s okay. Life is full of times where things are hard and feel like it will never be okay again. And maybe it won’t, at least for some of us.
For many people, life is chaos. Every day is a challenge to simply survive. This includes children that are orphaned and starving around the world and it includes your neighbor that deals with chronic depression and sometimes can’t get out of bed. It includes my son who lives most of his life in the hospital going from one life-saving surgery to the next and it includes the elderly widow down the street that is all alone.
It is okay for life to suck sometimes. It is okay for you to need help and it is okay for things to not have a happy ending. If for you only experience chaos once in a while then I am happy for you, but that is not an excuse to ignore hardships or pretend there is always a good reason for things to happen.
I’m not saying that you should be okay with people experiencing pain and challenges in life. That kind of response is just simply ignoring the issue. However, you should be able to accept what they are going through as a reality that won’t magically be fixed in the morning.
Society is built on chaos.
This is very counter-cultural for all of us. Our culture teaches us to look for the silver lining. To find the good in the middle of the bad. To overcome your hardships with positivity. But this is a lie and it only serves to make the issues that people face less visible.
When we recognize the bad things in life around us, we see things that need improvement. Society is built to solve these issues and build a better world. And we need to improve our culture be addressing these issues instead of pretending they don’t exist.
Let me ask you one more question:
Who’s pain are you ignoring because you refuse to see what they are going through today because you want to pretend it will magically get better tomorrow?
Figure that out and stop pretending that everything happens for a reason. People will thank you for seeing their sh*t and accepting it as part of their life.