Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

We’ve all felt that feeling in the pit of our stomach. We hear something on the news or through the grapevine that makes our heart sink. Something terrible has happened to such a good person. And always, it seems the first question is Why them? How could this happen to such a good person? Well today I’m going to attempt to clarify that question. 

Simply put, bad things happen to good people because good things also happen to bad people, as well as good to good and bad to bad. Criminals get caught and go to jail. Teachers motivate their students and live on in their memories. Just think, at any given moment there are virtually an infinite number of things happening. There are antibodies fighting a cold in a child in Northern Russia, a dog fetching a ball in Arizona, an elderly man dying in a hospital bed in Tokyo, and a baby being born at one in Alaska – all happening at the same time. So how can we ask such a question about one thing happening to one person? How can we even judge it as good or bad? 

When Princess Diana died, millions of people around the world mourned, tuned in, and pondered the meaning of life. People made internal decisions to live on trying to represent what she represented. Someone somewhere may have finally gained the courage to start their own non-profit organization to help abused children. So in this way, the death of a good person created something good. And this goes for deaths of all “good” people. I know that if I died today, there would be people in this world that would shift their internal motivations, pursue their dreams, and do what they love simply because that is what I represent to them. When I was nine years old I watched by Great Grandmother wither away in a convalescent home and eventually give up on life. And I remember through my tears that day deciding that I would live my life to the absolute fullest… I decided that I would never give up. 

THE TAKEAWAY: When something happens, before labeling it good or bad, let’s look inside ourselves and try to understand how it fits into the greater scheme of life. We are all apart of this living breathing organism called Earth and we each serve a purpose in the course of its life. Call it God’s will or call it universal conspiracy, things really do happen for a reason – And it is up to us to choose to see them as good or bad. 

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Artwork by my wonderfully talented girlfriend.

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7 thoughts on “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

  1. Well, obviously you are one of the good people and i pray that a whole ship load of good things are headed your way. Your perspective on events is very profound and i so enjoy reading your thoughts. thanks for sending me all your good thoughts.

  2. I’m hesitant to call it Que sera, sera because sometimes senseless things do occur, especially a great tragedy. And while it gives some impetus to do something, it equally gives others the opposite and they shut down. I get what you mean however. I’m an optimist so I see it like that as well. But the developing realist in me understands that purely defining it as something happening “for a reason” brings as much grief as it brings solace, especially if that reason will never be elucidated. Just a thought.

    I say this because of the tragedy that occurred in Aurora, Colorado just a night ago. Just a random thought.

    • You bring up a very good point Soman. And I think there really isn’t a right answer. I think it just comes down to whether you individually choose to view things in terms of their greater purpose or not. Even grief can have its place if one chooses to see it that way. Do you agree?

  3. It is so true that what we do with the feelings and thoughts that stem from victories and tragedies is a choice that each of us makes and that it is an indicator of our true character. These choices also determine our overall level of happiness and fulfillment. I also agree with you that looking at the impact of someone’s life and letting it inspire us to live to our full potential is beautiful way to honor their life.

  4. WOW! I read your blogs and am always amazed at your insite.
    For me this is where faith and leaning on God comes in. Having a positive attitude in the face of tragedy is not something most people can do, it takes some kind of inspiration.

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