Do you take control in adverse situations or rest on a recycled reasoning of luck?

Written: February 2020


“Everything happens for a reason,” apparently…

That is a statement that I have intermittently leaned into and backed away from. It’s a catch-all statement that can be used to come to terms with consequences of any nature. It is also a somewhat sensationalist suggestion that serendipity is superior to one’s actions.

I’ve noticed how I only ever seem to hear the reasoning used in adverse scenarios. Something doesn’t go to plan, so we accept that there must be an unspecified explanation as to why. A reason that eludes us, something we can’t quite define.

Photo: Annie Spratt (Unsplash)

When everything is going great, the flowers smell pleasant and the sun is shining bright – we’re not trying to find a justification for why it’s all happening, or the justification becomes attributed to something definitive. Maybe this is our hard work or the fact that the season is spring.

Why do we fall back on this recycled reasoning?

Now where actions are planned, prepped and precisely executed yet something doesn’t go to plan maybe “everything happens for a reason,” as an explanation, is justified. Where planning, preparation and precision of execution are far from excellent, can we really pull this card?

My analysis is that we believe “everything happens for a reason,” albeit undefined, only when we are in need of hope – hope of a better situation than the current one. A good situation… rather than the bad one within which we are currently seeking hope. If we thought the reason a bad thing happened was for a bad reason, we would accept what had happened without clutching at nondescript hope.

I’ve done this too, but here’s what I’ve learned now…

I’ve learned to attach good reason to the adverse situations I may encounter. What that may look like for me is helping someone – anyone I can – and then wanting to be left alone. Recently it looked like me stopping a bus for a lady who was running for it and walking off without stopping for or needing thanks, and giving to a homeless person whilst telling them “I’m not in the best of moods.” He understood. I have seen him around for a few years, and have had enough conversations with him to know that unfortunately his story is legitimate.

Photo: Sid Sun (Unsplash)

When things are going good, personally, I thank God. I’m learning to thank myself and my hard work a lot more but it’s always God, primarily. You may credit yourself and tangible presences only, and that’s fine too.

When in the crux of “everything happens for a reason,” maybe we can learn to make it second nature to match our hope for good with action for good. If things do go wrong (whether we planned well or not) let’s see if we can do something good for someone, or even ourself.

Give a bad situation a good purpose – that way you ensure it happened for a reason – a positive one. You can find find out or ponder the unspecified one in a future moment.

Somewhat Unrelated Personal Postscript:

I’ve decided that I don’t have to smile to do good or even smile to be happy. My outward demeanour never changes my desire to help others. I usually like to be left alone afterwards, haha.

Actually, what I think I’ve learnt whilst writing this is that I’m becoming very okay with not caring how people interpret my behaviour. I try my upmost to act with good intent, even silly things like telling a sales assistant that I expected to pay more, when they surprisingly ask for less.

I also, unfathomably to some, like to be left alone at most times.

Post-postscript:

I wrote this in February but right now (31 March, 2020 at 1:12pm) I will add…

It’s spring and it’s interesting.

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