Stop Rationalizing Tragedy With, ‘Everything Happens For A Reason’


The world is a terrifying place. It’s painfully obvious to see that. With social networking sites being utilized as news sources, it is inevitable to see the perpetual injustices and tragic situations that occur nearly ever day. I can’t scroll through my newsfeed without seeing something about the discovered remains of a teenage body, or the story of yet another person’s lost battle to the clutches of cancer.

It’s overwhelmingly depressing. I’m not insinuating that it is a bad thing to be informed of the global happenings; in fact I think it’s amazing that we are all constantly in the know about the news, whether it’s positive or devastating.

After the initial shock of a terrible incident, a lot of people find solace in the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” I have heard this sentence time after time during the aftermath of a painful situation. And it always has me wondering, what exactly is that reason?

I wanted to believe them. I wanted to take all of the negativity that I’d endured and project it into a grander meaning. I wished for nothing more than to be able to soak in those words and accept them as my truth; but I just couldn’t. I could not bring myself to agree with the idea that terrible things happen for a specific goal. It’s unfair to rationalize situations by simply stating that everything happens for a reason.

I don’t believe that there is a reason for everything. I think that sometimes, things just happen simply because they happened. There’s no hidden meaning behind them or supernatural force making it so. The world is an awful place a lot of the time and that cannot be attributed to a grander reason.

People aren’t raped or abused for a specific reason; they just are. Madmen with guns don’t shoot innocent kids for a purpose; it just tragically ensues. It may be insensitive to assume this, but isn’t it almost more insensitive to assume that these awful occurrences happen as part of a bigger calling?

It is disgusting to affiliate such tragic happenings with a higher power; chocking up the injustices in the world to a religious fulfillment or an inevitable fate. You have to be brainwashed to believe that the Newtown shooting occurred because that’s what was meant to happen. I don’t want to live in a world where the higher power can be held responsible for such appalling acts of humanity.

If you want a reason for something, you have to make it up for yourself. Don’t look for a reason, but rather create your own. Decide that you are going to learn from this experience or make a change because of it.

When awful things happen, give it meaning. Make it count for something. It is admirable and inspirational to see someone making the best out of an absolute tragic situation; not even essentially making the best of it, just trying to extract any shred of positivity that they can from it, to help others and to prevent a similar situation from occurring.

There’s no given reason that terrible things happen, but there are lessons to be learned from the way you handle it. Eventually, negativity becomes less about the actual occurrence and more about the approach that you take to overcome it.

A reason is not going to fall into your lap. Be the change, be the positive effect, be the reason that something happened. Make it count for something.

Otherwise bad things just happen to happen and that contributes to the terrible world we exist in. Extract hope from tragedy instead of attributing it to the fact that “everything happens for a reason.” Because frankly, not everything does and in a way, that is kind of comforting. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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