Why do bad things happen to good people?
I am pretty sure I have written a blog post or two about this topic before, but in the last week I have had an incident that brought it back for me, so I am having another go at the topic.
There isn’t always a reasonable explanation for things that happen. Sometimes good things happen for no reason, and we accept that pretty easily. But sometimes bad things happen to people who don’t deserve them, and that is a bit harder to accept.
For the most part I believe that we attract circumstance into our lives, but there are always still those wild cards, the mishaps (and the lucky breaks) and the unexpected happenings. We don’t live in isolation, and sometimes our lives are affected by the actions of others even if we didn’t attract them.
Sometimes, though, I think bad things happen to good people to remind them that they are loved.
Let me explain. Sometimes the “bad thing” itself is not what the life lesson is all about. Sometimes the whole focus is on what happens NEXT.
I recently had a break in at my home. I was fortunate enough that it happened while we were not at home, so no-one was hurt. This criminal came into my home and took all of my daughter’s hard earned holiday money, my one or two (slightly) valuable pieces of jewelry, and odd things like my daughter’s USB speaker.
Needless to say I was (and still kind of am) pissed off about it all. How the hell can it be fair? When you have so little and work so hard for what you have got, that someone can just come in and take it? Not to mention feeling afraid, violated and in danger. All highly sucky shit.
What happened NEXT, though, made me feel pretty wow-ed out.
When the people I know started to hear about what happened I started to receive phone calls and messages. At my office I had one co-worker who stepped in and discreetly replaced all of the cash that was taken from my daughter. Then the next day I came in to find an envelope of cash on my desk, which everyone else had rallied together to raise. Some of which has gone towards the stolen piggy bank and some towards new window locks and things where the break in happened. I then also received a call from my employer (who’s away) who wants to assist with upping my security.
The long and short of it is, my people were there for me. They rallied around us in our time of need. Rather than being broken and bummed out about how terrible some people are (I have to not think about it too hard, I’m still in the angry phase), I am instead stuck by how kind, selfless and generous people can be.
So this is the good that came out of a bad situation. Sometimes bad things happen to good people to remind you that others care. Sometimes you have to take a hit in order to give the people in your life the opportunity to show you that you are meaningful them.
To let them rally around you, and to remind you that when the going gets tough, people care enough to lend a hand. Maybe the biggest problem we have is that we wait for a crisis to ask for help, and to give it. Maybe we all need to learn to be more community orientated all the time – so that no-one is ever in this thing called life alone.
If you have suffered a loss or a trauma, try to look beyond what happened, to what happened next. The people who were there for you – they are golden. Just remember – you have to be open to letting people help you, too. This is something I struggle with. I don’t want to appear needy or clingy or like I am trying to grab for myself. I have learned to be strongly independent and fend for myself (and my kids). I don’t easily accept charity. Maybe that is part of why this happened, because I have to learn to accept kindness as easily as I hand it out.
Now I understand that there are some terrible things that happen, that are not turned around so easily. For these incidents I am truly, deeply sorry. But if no-one got hurt, you have to try and find that silver lining.
Sometimes when bad things happen to good people they can turn out to be good things.