“Everything happens for a reason.” You have heard this expression many times, or you could have scoffed at people who said this thinking that they are trying to delude themselves because of “misfortune”. Please Don’t.
When we say, “everything happens for a reason”, are we trying to console ourselves because something ‘bad’ had happened?
Let me share with you a story…..
In the ancient times, there was a king had a very close trusted advisor, a wise man with whom he was always conversing about the concerns of every problem occurs and all issues that require attention…but the king noticed that whenever there was an accident the minister says just one thing : Everything happens fora reason, and that’s great! While the king liked the wise man, he was just not sure exactly what this should mean and how an accident can be great…..
One day, the king decided to go out hunting and he took the wise man with him, and during hunting a terrible accident occurred to the king and he got one of his fingers chopped off. The king helplessly asked the wise man why such unfortunate incident had befallen on him since he has ruled his country with love and be respected by all his people. At that moment, the wise man just said “Every thing happens for a reason, and that’s great!”.
This time the king reacted with violence and indignation against the wise man: “You’ve been eating my food and living from my wealth, and now you have only these stupid words to say…. that it’s great to have my finger cutoff?!” The King considered him to be crazy and insensitive, he then ordered his soldiers to throw the wise man into prison as a punishment.
Some people who has in the past sought the wise man’s advice visited him in his cell, and whenever there are visitors asking how he was doing, he calmly replied “Everything happens for a reason, and that’s great! ”. People were all puzzled and more and more people were convinced that the wise man was out of his mind.
After a period of time, the king decided again to go out on hunting expedition with his troops.He penetrated into a woods far away and suddenly be confronted by a cannibal tribe who was inhabiting in the forest. The tribe captured the King and everyone that he brought along. The cannibal tribe was actually preparing for the festival of sacrifice! They were searching for a perfect sacrifice for the worshiping and they got the King! The King is destined to be slain….
The shaman prepared for the ritual and examined the King. But the shaman later found out that one of the king’s fingers is severed,and for this, he said to the tribe master that this sacrifice is refused, because according to their religion that stipulates only perfect and complete sacrifices..and that if they proceed with an incomplete sacrifice – in their belief- will brings god’s curse upon them. They considered that the King is not “worthy” and the tribe master decided to release the King.
With great relief and still couldn’t believe that he got free from the tribe, the King now figured out that were it not for the fact that he had lost a finger, he would have lost his life. He remembered the words the wise man had told him – “Everything happens for a reason, and that’s great” – he realized that the wise man he had just recently thrown into prison had been right, after all.
The king,returning quickly to the capital, went to the wise man directly and brought him out of prison personally. He told the wise man how everything happened with him and how a cut finger saved his life! And that really was the best in that moment. But the King proceeded to ask: “In my case, it was indeed good that I lost my finger, but, what I wanted to ask you was, why you mentioned it was‘great’ when you were put into prison and given only dry scraps of bread to eat?”
The wise man,at no loss of words, replied: “Your Majesty, if I had not been locked up in prison, and left behind, I would have gone hunting with you and I would have been captured with everyone else. They would surely set you free because you are incomplete sacrifice, but for me, and like everyone else, I would have been sacrificed by the tribe. So it’s the best for me to be thrown in prison before this would happen, and it would be the best for you to have your finger cut before you would be a complete sacrifice …
And he concluded with his habitual quote: “Everything happens for a reason, and that’s great…”
This is a simple tale may provide a clue to believe that what’s happening in our lives could turn out to be a good thing no matter how painful and nonsensical it might seem at the moment it happened. Whether or not we admit of fate or divine’s intervention, we will learn in every moment… But the big benefit one obtains from faith is that when there is a defeat in his life, he becomes well aware that it is only momentary, and that it will all pass…
Whatever one’s take on this controversial perspective, it cannot be doubted, that many times,failure and defeat are not quite what they seem. And that loss and even tragedy may sometimes contain secret benefits, hidden amidst the pain and disappointment; like diamonds hidden inside a dark mine. In such cases, has it happened for a ‘good’ reason? Again, who knows?
One of the philosophers, the ancient Greek Stoic Epictetus, wrote: “Is my [angry]neighbor bad? Bad to himself, but good to me: he brings my good temper, my gentleness into play. Is my [unjust] father bad? Bad to himself, but good tome. This is the rod of Hermes: touch what you will with it, they say, and it becomes gold. Nay, but bring what you will and I will transmute it into Good.Bring sickness, bring death, bring poverty and reproach, bring trial for life -all these things through the rod of Hermes shall be turned to profit (Translation by Hastings Crossley.)”. Here,Epictetus does not necessarily say that when disaster strikes, it is for the best; but he does tell us that there is value hidden, even in disaster’s midst,and that if we have the courage and insight to find it, we will be able to turn what was an utterly negative experience into something useful, that will make us stronger, wiser, in some way better than we were before.
This is especially so when things have gone very wrong, and a person is trying to make sense out of his setbacks, or even his calamities. At such times, it is comforting to tell oneself that there may be some higher purpose in all that is happening,and that, in the end, everything will turn out well – for the better, even.After all, who wants to feel like an ant that’s just been stepped on, and left behind, crushed on the sidewalk?
Whether it is true, or not, that everything that happens does so for a reason, and that in some way it will all be for the best, is hard to know. Sometimes, it certainly does not seem that way. But, on the other hand, there are undeniably cases in which it is true.
Learning this way, and growing this way, is never easy. But it is surely better than finding nothing in the adversity, and withering away, like plants whose roots do not struggle enough to reach a drop of water. Whether everything happens for a reason, or not, we can make what happens have a reason, by finding a reason,and, in this way, turn our losses into foundations for being greater than we were before.
Now, do you believe that “Everything happens for a reason, and that’s great!”? 😉
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- Steve Jobs Commencement Speech at Stanford University
- Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so – love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don’t. Believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance – take it! If it changes your life – let it! Nobody said it would be easy . . . they just promised it would be worth it!
- Poem: The Park Bench
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