Updated: Mar 16, 2021
By Michael Heath / selfpublishingUS.com
When I was growing up, my parents and relatives often said, “Everything happens for a reason.” To me, it was just some innocuous statement that people used in response to a troubling event. If you could not explain it, then it must be God’s will. Youth and life inexperience allowed me to easily dismiss such musings as ridiculous. I mean, did some higher power really want bad things to happen?
Whether you are an all-out atheist or trained in the dozens of Bible verses referencing God’s will, it goes without saying that we all experience good times and bad. As a nation, we currently live in a pandemic crisis with people suffering at different levels. Some will die from the disease; others will get sick and eventually recover. Many will endure the economic hardship of a business shutdown or work layoff. Still others know the ordeal as nothing more than stay-at-home boredom.
No good can be humanly explained from someone dying from the Coronavirus, so I leave that to a higher power. With that said, suffering is a necessary part of life that, if responded to correctly, leads to something greater. It tones our thinking muscles. We know ourselves better. Resilient communities say that what does not kill us makes us stronger. Historians claim that one big factor in the US citizen’s gallant response to entering World War II was the difficulty suffered during the Great Depression. Tough times created tough people.
Have good times made us soft and uncaring? Or even worse, given us a false sense of entitlement? Did the digital age make things so easy that we no longer bother to think things out but merely Google the answers? Are we really concerned for the planet and its creatures or do we just “Like” Facebook posts that pique our interest? This situation should be used as an opportunity for reflection and soul-searching. Maybe we should finally read the books piled on our nightstands or write the poetry dancing in our heads. Can we enjoy the simplicity of being alone rather than the need to be with the “right” people? We have all been given an unexpected gift called time. We need to use it wisely. The teacher is ready; will the student arrive?