I’d already scheduled this post, but given the shooting on Wednesday, I feel a need to revise, to defend the concept a bit. It would be easy to see “Things happen for a reason” as a platitude or blaming what happened on God or Fate or some divine plan.
Things happen for not just a reason but many reasons. One reason was that the man was angry, and whatever he was angry about, there is no excuse for his killing those students and teachers. I’m sure it didn’t do anything to fix the problems that made him angry. Later many people will try to figure out his motivation, but that’s not why it happened, in either a cosmic sense or a practical one. We are in a high stress, angry culture, and some parts of it encourage violent behavior. Many others do not.
Change is inevitable. Things always change, and we hope that changes will be for the better, not the worse. We do not embrace the terrorism, but we can embrace people helping each other. People are coming together to try to direct change in the right direction. Many people are outraged, and determined to prevent more tragedies like this from happening. Compassion Fatigue is a real thing, but this incident may be the tipping point where people will refuse to simply “think about something else”, and insist on making policies that reflect good research that shows us how to prevent more shooting. Terrorism is always about using other people’s fear to make them do what you want them to do: to move out of your town, or country, to allow you your bigotry, to see how awful conditions are and do something about it. It’s not a good technique, but it is does get our attention.
Climate Change is a change- but people all over the world are working on turning it around. Every news story whether on climate or on terrorism adds figures into existing data and changes the direction of the probabilities we are facing. We don’t ever travel in a direct line. We change our paths. We are creatures of earth and of stardust, of matter and energy, and we are capable of so much! If we decide to use that energy, and our actions to change the world we are in. In every little thing we do, we can make the world a better place. When something awful happens, the best we can do is not accept it, but seize the energy of our outrage and use it to power our will to change the world for the better.