Everything Happens for A Reason… Yes and Very Much, No

Irrational Health 6. I’ll put my own disclaimer up front. I have a very large disdain for cliches just because I feel so highly that they’re thoroughly abused in the modern day. I understand that for people it can be a very helpful way to cope with reality, but like so many other things I discuss here, people have sort of run away with something that isn’t meant to be a cure-all or panacea. One of the biggest hackneyed expressions is the one that goes that everything happens for a reason. It’s one of those things were the statement is true, yes. Everything does happen for a reason. We live in a world of cause and effect. Nothing occurs spontaneously, other than creation, but that’s only the case for the religious. Nonetheless, our society has adopted this expression as a sort of boilerplate or disclaimer that rather than providing a temporary comfort, leads to its abuse in the form of justification.

There is something very odd and bizarre about justifying one’s actions based on the hindsight a person will have in “x” amount of time. Think about it. Isn’t there a line between where this expression holds value and where the expression is the justification? Imagine if you entering into a friendship with someone and that person forced you to sign a waiver, some boilerplate contract, that made that person devoid of an responsibility to an terrible thing he/she may do to you. It’d be bizarre right. How willing would you be to enter into said friendship with that person, knowing that up front they’ve already prepared a exemption or justification for any negative act. How is this expression not accomplishing the same thing? How can you move through life, entering and exiting every opportunity on the basis of reason to both enter and leave it? This expression also leads to the conclusion that anyone who uses it is a determinist. What about free will? Sure, if you don’t believe in it then go right ahead and proceed with your irrationality, but for those who do believe in free will, then how can you adhere yourself to an ideology that you’re using to justify every action you ever embark on because it was decided for you by causality. It’s insanity, right? To internalize this limited axiom is to make yourself into something almost less than human and to come off as someone too weak to realize and act on the fact that while everything happens for a reason, you have the ability to influence the next reason. 

You know if you’ve ever studied psychology or statistics, then you know that correlation doesn’t prove causality. If you begin to notice a relationship between two factors that doesn’t mean that one is causing the other and vice versa. It means that in some way the two things are related, whether that relation is strong or weak. The fact is that everything is somehow related to everything else, but that doesn’t prove a cause and effect. The data shouldn’t influence a choice. The choice should influence the data. There is a major question forming as I continue to think about modern life, relationships, and irrationalities. That question is formed around limits. At what point do people stop separating themselves into their own self-zone and actually attempt to break through the irrational and carve out a self-zone that is a part of our larger reality. Yes, everything happens for a reason. Life is on some level a cycle, but at what part do you stop feeding into that cycle as justification for decision made under an irrational mindset? It’s a difficult thing to do, but I truly believe, despite a lot things, that it’s worth it and sometimes it takes a little arrogance to change the tide of fate.