Monday, May 12, 2008

All Things Happen for a Reason

"All things happen for a reason." I don't ever recall using that cliche'. Nor will I in the future. It's vague and callow, really.

I believe God is in charge, and I believe He can and does occasionally intervene, but I don't believe in 'fate' -- not as most would have it. I believe that there is personal choice and consequences. Who we are and what we do is largely made up by a million thoughts and choices we've made, and by choices others make. We all know the saying: To every action there is a...reaction. That's true. Our actions create our circumstances.

But we don't choose our parents, we cannot control the weather, and we simply cannot control a great deal of circumstances. We can only react to them. We cannot stop or change the inevitable. We cannot make others change, only encourage them to do so. Even 'forcing' someone to change will not guarantee success, besides being uncivil. But we can have power over our personal destiny.

There is one verity: We are in charge of our thoughts. Our thoughts lead to acts. Our actions lead to habits, and our habits shape our character. Eventually our character becomes our personal destiny.

Everyone has moral agency -- the ability to choose. Some of life's greatest tragedies occur when people fail to learn what I view as the first and single most important lesson to learn in life: Be civil; treat others with love and kindness. Do no harm to others and do not harm yourself.

So, when I hear others say, "All things happen for a reason" that's what I think it means.

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