My Attempt to Understand
by Modern Melly
It’s the age old question, right? The one we use the most, I’ll venture a guess. Sometimes it’s easy to answer- ‘Mommy, why do I have to wear shoes’- other times, less so- ‘Daddy, why do bad things happen?’ It’s our inherent nature to seek explanation, to understand…to know why. We must make sense, so that we may compartmentalize, process, and move forward. But what if there is no answer?
When Bad Things Happen
I woke up this morning to the horrific news of the Las Vegas mass shooting, prompting me to go into automatic, ‘Why?’ mode, and to also return from my long running blog hiatus. Book writing has dominated this brain as of late). My conclusion is much the same as it’s always been: there is no correct ‘because’.
You can’t (or at least you shouldn’t, in good conscience) answer a question like this in black and white concretes, although we do. All the time:
‘Why did this happen?’
Because people are fucking crazy.
Because the world’s gone mad.
Because we need better gun control.
Because mental illness.
Because we’re Godless
Because religious zealots
You see where I’m going? Everyone has an answer, of sorts. So, I guess I’ll add mine to the mix. Why not, right? It’s short, it’s succinct (I think), and perhaps it’s cliche, but it’s what my heart tells me. More importantly, it gives me a semblance of peace.
And The Answer Is…
The answer to why is simply…because sometimes bad things happen. If you waste your precious time and energy trying to fathom the unfathomable, you will drive yourself mad. There are people in the world that do bad, very, very bad things. There has always been, there will always be. This is not God’s work, these atrocities, evils, heartbreaks, and catastrophes. You can believe it so, if you choose, but I will not accept a punishing God as my reality. I think His heart aches for us, our pain and suffering, and he wants nothing more than for us to be safe in His grace. But He gave us the gift and curse of free will, and stepped back to let us choose our path.
Believe what you must & what resonates with you. Far be it for me, with no religious background or Theology degree to wave under your nose, to tell you what to think. I tell you my feelings as a means to offer comfort; nothing more, nothing less. If this is not enough for you, I have another idea.
Ask A Different Question
Seriously. Ask yourself, or God, or the universe a different question, one that starts with ‘What’, Where’, How, When…
What can I do to help?
How can I make the world better?
When can I start?
Where do I begin?
The brain is a fabulous machine. If you give it a question, it will try to answer it. So why not ask it the most productive questions you can imagine, right? (I address this in my book, Finding Beauty in the Imperfections of Life) Theorizing over the water cooler (or at the bar, or the dinner table, or wherever) about why bad things happen won’t change them. But you have the power to influence your part of the universe. Be kind. Be compassionate. Be loving and thoughtful and at least once every day, be selfless.
My Final Answer…
Lastly, I think when you turn reaction into action- switching from the ‘why’ to the more productive questions- you empower yourself and those around you, and thereby forcing good to come from bad. That is actually the real answer, in the end. Don’t look for good in the bad…be the good.
Melanie Cherniack (aka Elsa Kurt) is the multi-genre indie published author of several books, brand creator of igoodhuman, and blogger. Her passion is to inspire, empower and uplift through her various works. Follow her on social media: Facebook & Instagram: @modernmellyworld