Sunday, 11 November 2012

Causality Not Fate

I've never been one of those people who believe that 'everything happens for a reason' or that '[insert name of your deity of choice here] has a plan' because of what that would mean.

If it's true for us, we people who are well off enough to have access to the internet which argues that we're probably doing OK on a couple of levels, then it would have to be true for everyone and that just does not work.

It's OK to try and be positive as you consider the challenges in your life and to to try see the opportunities for growth and change that they can offer you but saying God has a plan for everyone would mean telling a child that God wanted them to be molested because it's part of His 'plan'.

Anyone who genuinely believes that, ugh.

Johnny Citizen can lose his job and have a crisis and have to work out what his strengths and priorities are, almost lose his house, get a better job and feel that 'Wow, that hardship happened for a reason'.

But if you tell me that someone planting subsistence crops standing on a landmine and losing a leg is going to teach them to be a better person, I will fistfight you.

If you try to say that people suffering from malnutrition in third world countries are learning important lessons, I will put my foot to your genitals.

What would be even worse is if the 'reason' these things are happening is so that some sanctimonious jerk in a suburban house can tell their fretful, sulking children 'There are kids in Africa who would be very grateful for that food!'.

Yes. There are.

Anyway before I start ranting in earnest, back to my point.

I don't believe that things happen for a reason but once they have happened, they change what happens afterward.

That's simple cause and effect in linear time.

Nothing mystical about that*.

If I hadn't got sick, I wouldn't have started walking every day in an attempt to feel less powerless and to help improve my health and increase my chances of recovery.

If I hadn't kept walking every day, I wouldn't be in what is probably the best physical condition that I've been in for years.

If I hadn't been so mad keen for walking and feeling pretty good about my physical fitness, I would never have even considered saying yes to the Nepal trip.
I wouldn't have had any confidence in my ability to train up for it, let alone attempt it.

It didn't happen for a reason but because it happened my life has taken a different path that it would have and who knows how far those two paths will diverge from each other over time.

Disclaimer: Yes, I am aware that I am still super privileged in being able to consider my situation in this light after receiving adequate medical attention, support from my family and being in a financial position to go on a trip overseas.
But at least I'm not saying that I deserve it or that a divine being changed the course of history so that I would get to go on a trip because it is my destiny!!!

*Unless you think linear time is an amazing construct/mass hallucination.

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