Saturday, March 8, 2008

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Why do children get sick with horrible painful illnesses? Why do nice people die young? Why are some unlucky in love when they are so deserving of it? Today, following a series of unfortunate events, one in particular, I was left pondering the topic, "Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?" It is something that I have often thought about when I have found myself struggling for one reason or another, both on and off the track. It feels at the same time both perplexing and unjust.

I think the problem lies in the fact that we often believe that if we live a moral and just life, in turn we are "supposed" to be rewarded with good things. I think that sometimes bad things just happen for no reason, by pure chance. Being a nice person is no guarantee that life won't royally screw you over in some way. If you choose to be a moral person, you do so not because you think you will be treated fairly by "fate" in return, but because it is the only way to maintain your dignity and your identity regardless of what kind of disappointment life throws your way.

You the know old saying, "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger"....well sometimes that is the only way we can truly get through a bad experience, by trusting that there is something to be learned at the end of the road, regardless of whether we know what that is right now. I just see it as life on the planet earth; unfortunately, you have to take the bitter with the sweet. Sometimes it's us bearing the consequences of our own actions, sometimes its bearing the brunt of someone else's actions...and sometimes it just is.

The book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, written by Harold S. Kushner, has brought some answers to my question . This book explains and helps to clarify why even though we are not bad people, that sometimes bad things are bound to happen. When Kushner wrote this book I feel that the meaning of his writings were that God does not mean to punish us, he just means to test us and present us with problems and see how we react to them. As put best, he wrote, “The God I believe in does not send us the problem; he gives us the strength to cope with it.” And so we live, we learn, we trust and we move on....knowing that something even greater lies ahead!


Joice Maduaka said...

Hi Jack
This is a deep one. Lol
For the longest time I used to describe myself as a ‘shit magnet’. You know that person if its going to happen, it will be to me. Over the years to get through I have had to tell myself that life is a series of lessons that need to be learnt. For those hard ears people like me, that has meant that sometimes I have had to go over the same stuff several times. You know if you do the same you get the same. lol

So in short I feel its not a case of bad things happening to good people. More lessons being taught to people, or things halting people’s wants and desires, until said lesson is learnt.

We can sit and do the ‘Why me’ thing for a couple of hours, days, weeks etc. Hopefully learning what ever lesson or living what ever experience it was that we was supposed to. Accepting the stop gap, regrouping and continuing on with this story that is our life.

Mizrepresent said...

Wow! You touched on a subject that i have been going over in my mind for a while now. Trying to understand the why's. Talking to God, trying to make sense of all the senseless stuff that is taking place in this world, my own setbacks etc...but at the end of the day, i say your will be done...and pray for strength not just to help myself, but to help others. Great post!

@Joice - I must have "Hard ears" too! This is my wake-up call.

Anonymous said...

You know what...things happen. Bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to bad people. The same way good and bad things happen to good people. That's part of life. Sucks, but part of life, nonetheless.

Being good and bad is subjective in my eyes because one persons' interpretation may be the opposite of anothers'. So who's to say who is good or bad.

It's what you do in those situations. What do you do when bad things happen to you? What do you do when good things happen to you. It's part of a lesson to get us to another level. To a deeper understanding. To see and have a better relationship with our Creator.

eclectik said...

Beautiful post.
first time on the blog

Deep and I dig the sentiment

Living with regrets...learning from mistakes

Living truly is what you make it.

Sidebar: If you knew me/read my blog enough or before you'd know why I SO heart you.


jjbrock said...

Great post. I have learn long ago that God don't send bad things my way but, He allow bad things into my life because He is the only one that knows what's in my life that's not good for eternity.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi Jackie,

It's really hard not to ponder the randomness of life. We are taught to be good but we see bad people prosper. We believe that if we are good we will get points for our goodness. But what if everything is just random, what if being good comes with no guarantee of any reward(s)?

I think what separates a truly good person from the posers is being good without any expectation of reward.

Jackie Edwards said...

Eclectik and JJBrock: Welcome here and thanks so much for your comments.

Everyone else: It's always interesting to hear your comments on these types of topics that make you go hmmm.....

eclectik said...


And welcome to my've been added :)


Anonymous said...

I stopped asking myself this question a long time ago simply because there is never going to be an answer that will suffice. Ultimately only God knows why we go through what we go through. Some of us become stronger and better as a result and some of us become weak and taken down because of it; it truly depends on the character of the person.

I consider myself to be a good person and Lord knows that I have been met with all types of hardships in my life...especially as a young adult who was/is still more or less discovering himself.

I simply just pray and rely on God to help take me through the tough times.

By the way, great post Jackie :-]