The Beauty of Bad Things

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on The Beauty of Bad Things

Eo-scale_of_justiceI recently heard a fantastic answer to the often asked question, “Why do good things happen to bad people?”

The answer was that, “Well, bad things happen to ALL people.” That was such an astoundingly obvious, yet true, answer that it stopped me in my tracks. Implicit in the original question is the assumption that if we do good things, only good things should happen to us. Really? There is also an assumption that good things are positive forces in our lives, and bad things are negative forces. That isn’t the case for me, and I doubt that this is the case for many of us. Some of the most beautiful things in my life came about because of negative things happening. When I had a bout of depression when I was 25, and another when I was 26, I wouldn’t call that good, certainly. But resulting from that were many beautiful things: I returned to political and social activism, I started a meditation and spiritual practice, and I learned how to actively work towards being mentally healthy. I am so deeply and profoundly grateful to that unhappy period in my life for the gifts that it has bestowed upon me.

Implicit in the question is also the idea that bad things are supposed to happen to bad people. Putting aside the assumption that there are bad people, I don’t believe that this is true either. If people are hurting other people and causing pain, we should hope with all of our heart that more good things happen to them. How else will they see that there is another path? How else will they be filled with enough love to face the demons that are causing them pain? There is grace to be found in both good and in bad events, for all of us – good, bad, and somewhere in the middle.