. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

I've learned that there are many ways of answering the question, "Why do things happen?" Or specifically, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

Some people believe in predestination--that everything happens because the whole plan of life was determined when the universe was created. There are also those who believe in God's (or whatever higher power you believe in) great plan for you--that He knows what your life is to be. Still others believe in the total randomness of events--that you can't control everything that happens, but do the best you can with what happens throughout life. And then there are people who believe that things happen "for a reason." That you go through your life's journey and make your own decisions, but that sometimes you can't answer that "Why do bad things happen?" question. You can only say, "Things happen for a reason" and you look for the silver lining in the cloud, pick yourself up by the bootstraps, and keep trudging forward.

Now I admit, I've been more in the "Random Thought" Camp throughout my years and have had wonderful debates over the different ways of looking at journeying through life with some very special people. I'm starting to open my mind to the "Things happen for a reason" explanation. Sure, I may think life is a series of random events, but if I think about it and truly reflect on it, over time I can see that silver lining when something bad happens. I can make something out of the randomness so that it becomes more meaningful to my life. I can apply these thoughts to the event and feel better in knowing that although something horrible has happened, I can go on with a positive outlook and apply my energy into what is most important to me. I become a stronger and wiser person.

In no way does this diminish the pain of loss or whatever the event was, but it gives me a focus--a way to apply positive energy into the healing process. To get past the grief and to look toward the future. To plan for a better "me" so that when something random comes my way, I can get through it with my head held high and with a happy heart. It just takes time. One day at a time.

P.S.: The definition of "silver lining" from Answers.com states that a silver lining is "a hopeful or comforting prospect in the midst of difficulty." It comes from the proverb [John Milton's drama, "Comus" in 1634] that can be paraphrased as every cloud has a silver lining. From the Idioms website at GoEnglish.com: "Be hopeful because difficult times always lead to better days."

P.P.S.: As a natural pessimist, I had to laugh when I found this about "silver linings" from The Phrase Finder: "Optimists see it that way. But we all know people who take the half-empty position, and they would remind us that every silver lining is surrounded by a big black cloud."


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