“Everything happens for a reason…” On day one, July 27th, 2014 I launched this e-journal stating my disdain for this particular quote; publically scoffing at the triteness of it and vowing to never insult any of you by regurgitating it.
A friend said this to me yesterday. Now, she certainly is not unique in her use of it, sadly people say it (too) often. But, the reason I choose to address it today is to ascertain whether I am the only one with this particular aversion; whether I need to join you all on this bandwagon of clichés that is moving at a very high rate of speed toward mindlessness. Ha-ha! We were discussing meetings; specifically those between people and she said to me, “We met for a reason.” I admit that my initial response was an eye-roll on my end of the phone and a very vocal sucking of my teeth followed closely by an expletive. Okay, I cursed! Loudly! But then I attempted to try to understand why people/she felt the need to state something so very obvious – I mean…of course, you, him, her, everyone, we, fucking do do everything for a reason! Without that very simple (over-stated) reality, the world would be forced to grind to a confusing halt!
“Everything happens for a reason…” Yes, it does. We go to bed for a reason – it’s nighttime and our asses are tired! We wake up for a reason – it’s morning and time to go to work, school, the gym, the park, the unemployment office, home (after being a ho and sleeping out). We sit or stand to pee for a reason – our bladders are full. We brush our teeth and shower for a reason – the shits are dirty and must be cleaned. We go to work for a reason – bills need to get paid and we need to eat. We go to school for a reason – so that we can go to work. We come home tired and frustrated and beat our kids for a reason – well, the little bastards are just bad! Ha! And on and dronefully on. It ALL happens for a god dam reason! So, why do people keep saying it? It’s as if some believe it makes them sound so very eloquent or profound when they parrot it. Quite frankly, I wanna have conversations with the realists who say out loud, “I have no fucking idea why this shit is happening!” I prefer to spend my time with those that shun the quest for the “reason” in simple pursuit of the experience.
And here’s the other problem I have with the statement – because we are so invested in the “reason” behind all happenings, we tend to ascribe our own meanings, the ones that work best for us in the given situation, to the given situation. We have become quite adept at manipulating and massaging, ensuring the outcome resembles the meaning, the reason we have attributed to it. I mean, do we truly not realize that oftentimes, many times the outcome of things and situations were not organic, but sadly manifestations of our manipulations?
The biggest lie we tell ourselves is that human beings who meet are somehow destined to spend any significant amount of time colliding into each other. Yes, we have become masters at that particular delusion! We take what should be left as acquaintanceships at best and plummet headlong into brief friendships barreling into loverships. We seem incapable of recognizing much less accepting, that many encounters should remain devoid of bodily fluids, joint bank accounts, leases, pets and extended families. Sigh. And what do we tell ourselves? “… it happened for a reason.” Well yes, you’re right. But more than likely not the reason that you’ve constructed – evidenced time and again by the eventual (negative) outcome.
All I’m saying here is this – we will be all a bit better off if we stop placing so many magnanimous and crippling expectations on everything; as if there’s always some damned cosmic meaning! Some things, many things just fucking are! What you see is all there is! There is nothing deeper or more meaningful. Shit… sometimes the reason you find money in the street simply means that the person who dropped it was careless; not that God thinks you’re so very special and is looking out for you! Simple; not philosophical!
Listen, some things do carry significant meaning and some encounters are so impactful that well, there must be a lesson there; that had to “happen for a reason!” I understand both the sentiment and the desire to honor the experience. Got it. But the flip-side is also true – in this big, beautiful, constantly moving, sexy, provocative, inspirational, confusing, fucked-up, thrilling, challenging, mind-numbing, senseless, spectacular world of ours, at times the smiles we exchange, the conversations we have, the glances or even the stares mean nothing; snippets in time that are meant to be left where we found them. Sometimes we alter what truly should have been with our desire for more; in our constant quest for meaning. Sometimes, the reason is that there is no reason at all…