ColumnsLifestyleOpinionInfluence and Ambiguity of Adages —Those Sayings Might Make or Break You

“Every Happening Could Bring About Some Form Of Realization” Vs “Everything Happens For A Reason”

We live in a society whereby the statement “everything happens for a reason” is a readily available comment especially for unpleasant occurrences. It is usually a religious as much as a cultural statement.

A patient on their sick bed would utter under their laboured breath “I know God is using this situation to teach me humility .” A student fails a course and then “everything happens for a reason”. A woman loses her child and opinions circulate about how God is trying her loyalty to and depth of love for him.

So, a mock assumption would be that one be accorded greater tragedy to learn greater lessons. For example, the patient in the hospital should encounter a more intense incident to become more humble or the woman whose lesson was love could lose another child to become more loving. That is the subtlety of the statement “everything happens for a reason”. The possibility of human-induced cause is eliminated and all happenings are ascribed to some celestial force or a supreme being who decides to orchestrate an unpleasant event just because he desired to teach a human some lessons.

It is human nature to search for meaning in every situation. In fact, the lack of meaning is one of the causes of suicide in this country and admittedly, there are situations that have no logical explanation or is beyond the human control at which sphere, we acknowledge solely, the supreme; but before the quote “it’s not by power nor by might” or its contemporary “it is not of he that willeth nor he that runneth but by he that showeth mercy” pops up in your mind, take a moment to ponder: If you had taken your studies seriously, would there be a reason to be discovered about what God wanted you to learn via a poor grade? If you had obeyed the speed limit, would you be caught up in an accident to begin to learn humility on a hospital bed?

This is what the statement “everything happens for a reason” does- it exempts you from any form of responsibility and places you as a helpless recipient in every situation.

“Every happening could bring about some form of realisation” says “I became more courageous or patient or humble or confident as a result of this incident even though it was not a pleasant experience” while “everything happens for a reason” says “this event was predestined with a reason and I need to find it out”.

In fact, the use of the verb “happens” and the use of ‘a’ as the determiner for ‘reason’ here, indicates the definiteness of the sentence and shows that you have no intention of looking at the situation objectively to see how you contributed to it by your action(s) or inaction.

It is you who would decide what meaning or reason to confer on

But “every happening could bring about some form of realisation” presents incidents as happenings independent of any predestined reason. It is you who would decide what meaning or reason to confer on it because two people can encounter the same situation and perceive it differently due to their individualities and peculiarities.

It would be empowering to take on the perspective of “every happening could bring about some form of realization” so that you can, by yourself, indicate a learning curve in situations, even when you make mistakes. This way, you create room for improvement rather than watching your future tossed around because you chose passivity in the name of “everything happens for a reason”.

Favour Chiagozie Ebubechukwu is an Editorial  Staff Writer and columnist with the WAP

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