“Everything Happens for a Reason” – Really?

I have questions about this familiar saying … Everything happens for a reason.*

Really? Does it? Everything?

Everything from child abuse, to the latest iPhone, to a paper cut, to rape, to a war, to a sale on beach chairs?

I used to say it myself, but I don’t anymore. Though I hear it used by a range of people, in many different settings … most often said in an attempt to bring some kind of understanding/comfort/purpose to a difficult situation.

Each time I hear it, something in me cringes.

I’ve experimented with rewording the saying…

I’ve seen similar things (good or bad) happen to different people and yet the outcome can be vastly different. One uses the challenge or the good fortune to move forward and maybe even help others along the way. While the other one does nothing or even takes a negative turn and hurts themselves and others by their choices.

So if everything happens for a reason — both the good or the bad result are what was supposed to happen?

As I recovered from the accident, thinking there was a reason for the hell I was going through (and knowing many others live with worse circumstances) made me want to kill myself.  Only by letting go of that thought was I able to take steps out of depression.

Now I tend to look at life thinking everything happens and I have the option of becoming better or bitter—it’s my choice. And the path I take determines what reason, if any, will or will not come out of whatever happens.


How do you view that saying?
Do you think everything happens for a reason?

*Generally said with the implication that God, the universe or
some divine being causes everything to happen for a reason.

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