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Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Old Grouch Speaks

Having lunch with friends today, I heard the old phrase, "Everything happens for a reason."

Yes, this is true, if you apply it to a broader sense: sometimes that reason has to do with another person's free will, including evil acts.  I believe it is up to other people who have free will and a basic moral sense of good to respond to such evil acts in a responsible way.

I also think that people are capable of exercising enormous stupidity and human rights violations in service to what they personally think is right.  ISIS thinks that what they are doing is perfectly right, for example, based on their belief systems.  They don't think they are crazy, murderous, insane, etc.  They simply think they are right and wish everyone would be as right, too.

Someone who tells a  cancer patient that they brought cancer on themselves is, without usually knowing it, being disrespectful and even cruel.  I believe people say these things because human mortality is frightening: people can't really visualize what it really is like to die if they haven't been in the dying process.  I think affirmations and positive thinking really do help in coping with illness and difficult life situations, but I do not think they apply in any way to the great question of why evil exists.

I can say for myself that reasons will bloom out of my experience as a way of making sense.  I know that I have more writing time now that I have had to retire; I have more time to spend with my daughter.  The loss of m. helped me to see how much my self-esteem was torn down: being looked down on because I was poor, had a child, and in his opinion, a crisis filled life (when, in all fairness, he had continuous ones too, smaller than mine, but cumulative).  It  has made me remember that there are people who will just come and destroy as much as they can, because you represent something to them they, however unconcsiously, hate (whether that was older women in general, a mother, or some other symbolic thing).  The sad thing is, many of these people don't really mean it and really believe they are trying to do some good in your life.

Probably I should challenge people a little more when I hear facile lines of thinking, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  I just wish they would accept or even listen to mine!  I am writing about one of the worst things that can happen to a person, friends, and family, and I am trying to come to terms with why such things happen.