So Which is it?

Throughout most of my adult life I have heard many people say “Things happen for a reason.”  These people (and at least in my experience most of them are ladies I have met) feel that whatever happens, good, bad or indifferent, there is some plan.

For example:  I got laid off last year, but then I landed the perfect job!  Things happen for a reason.  I overslept, and missed the ferry, but then I heard it had mechanical failure and was stuck in the sound for hours.  Things happen for a reason.

For some reason, and I don’t know what it is.  This bugs the heck out me.  I am in the opposite camp.  In my belief, stuff (or another word that starts with an S) happens, and we choose how to react. I got laid off?  Well then I am going to start working my ass off to apply to anything that sounds good.  HEY, I got a great job.  Because I busted my ass to find it.  No one GAVE it to me.

I was turned around 4 times trying to climb Rainier?  I started riding bikes and met everyone of my goals since then, cuz my body functions GREAT below 12000 ft.  Being turned around didn’t happen for a reason, it happened due to genetics.  I coulda become a couch potato, but nope!  I looked for and found another way to stay in shape.  Stuff happened and I chose what to do about.

I guess that’s the thing that bugs me about “Things happen for a reason.”  If it’s all preordained, if there is some plan , then why should I stress and try so hard.  Whether I work hard or not, if the plan is that I get laid off, then it wouldn’t make a difference.  I do not like not having any control.

In my humble opinion, its our choices and dumb luck that control what happens to us.

Did he say luck?

Yeppers!  I firmly believe there is good and bad luck in the world.  I have made it to work, been at my desk, and found out that there was a HUGE wreck somewhere.   The freeway is basically closed.  Yep I got lucky.  My wife and I took a seaplane to Dry Tortuga off of Key West.  We landed and the sea rudders broke we couldn’t dock.  Bad luck.  Win lotto, good luck, flat tire, bad luck.

You can increase your luck, say to get a job, by doing research, having great references, and excellent reputation.  But it still comes down to being that one person more qualified than someone else AND hitting it off with the people doing the interview.  There is always that intangible, the thing that can happen to either make or ruin your plans.  This is luck.

10 years or so ago was a country and western song.  it may or may not have been called “Jesus take the Wheel”.  Long and short of it, this girl was driving, hit ice, lost control and let go of the wheel and yelled “Jesus tale the wheel!”  I am telling you every time this came on the radio I yelled at the station in my car.  I am NOT denigrating anyone’s beliefs.  What made me mad was thinking.  Crap, what happens if this happens to someone on the some road I am on, and they throw their hands up like that!  999 out of a 1000, they are going to crash and burn, and they could take me too!  If it does work, it is flat dumb luck!

Why do I bring this up.  Because it illustrates my point perfectly.  If I am in a spin in a car, I want to have my hands on the wheel, doing everything I can to regain control.  I am not going to leave it up to chance.

Long and short of it, if more people in the world owned up to the fact that it’s the choices in life that we make that has made us what we are and will continue to do so in the future.  It’s not the math teacher who “hated you”  the girlfriend who dumped you, or the school bully who was mean to you.  It’s what you did after these things happened that mattered.  If plan A doesn’t work, whats your B,C, D…

But I am curious, of those who read this.  What do you think.  Does it happen for a reason?  Or does stuff happen and we react from there?





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