I abruptly changed blog topics for this week after having a revelation during a car ride. I was riding shotgun in my own car because allergies were kicking my arse when it occurred to me. It is a question I have long pondered and suddenly, I think I might have an answer.
For a long time, I have been a firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason. As I have grown older, I have also because a student of the thought that sometimes, shit happens. Now, if you’re like me, you will notice a small problem there. When people say shit happens, they usually mean that things just happen, with no logic or reason behind them. It’s one of those things that is strangely reassuring, almost like it absolves us of the responsibility of finding a reason for why something horrible happens. However, it clashes with the idea that everything happens for a reason, the key word there being everything. Now, here’s my theory on the matter.
I realized that there can be two meanings to everything happens for a reason. When you say reason, it could mean one of two things: cause and/or purpose. Of course, you can argue that they are one in the same. However, because when I say “cause” I mean “because,” I don’t think they are. To me, purpose implies a motive to move forward. Cause implies the chain of events that leads to something. One is forward, the other is backwards. When we say everything happens for a reason, it can be backward or forward logic, and if it happens to be backward, then the idea that shit just happens can be applied. Think about it for a minute.
When someone dies of cancer, the family is often left behind to grieve and ask why! Is there a greater cosmic purpose for that beloved relative passing on? That is a hard idea to swallow, just because of how painful it is. This is where the idea that shit happens can become appealing. Like I said, it absolves us of having to find a reason for things and you cannot acknowledge the concept of chaos without also acknowledging that sometimes, things happen for no reason whatsoever. There was a cause, however. There is an explanation of how it happened. Therefore, it can be put under the category of everything happens for a reason, because there was a reason. It just doesn’t explain the why. Then it becomes a shit happens thing. Does that make sense? Good.
So, with this logic, I finally feel that the two concepts of “shit happens” and “everything happens for a reason” can coexist in peace. Making things coexist can be difficult, and making people coexist is an even harder task. On the ride home from college this year, Bear and I had a discussion that fits along this thread. Simply put, we wondered where chaos comes from, and Bear said something to me that rang so true it stuck with me and found its way here. Where does chaos come from but our own free will. Free will means we make our own choices and we do not have to follow the masses. There does not have to be a cause, just a purpose. There does not have to be a purpose, just cause. It goes both ways and it is up to us to choose.
It is a well known fact that humans impact their environment, perhaps more than any other creature on this planet. I believe it is possible that we also impact things on the level that we cannot see, that we are hardly even aware of. So chaos results from our own free will and impacts the world. It is a price to pay, but one I think most of us, especially if you’re an American, will gladly pay over and over again.
Chaos and free will, shit happens and everything happens for a reason. Theories are just theories. No one really knows until we die and cross over, but we can speculate. And speculate we do, often, hence this blog in all it’s messy glory.