Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

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Most of us have, at some point in our lives, experienced a hardship that genuinely made us ask why. And, while it can initially be tough to not take these pains personally, the truth is, to ask why bad things happen to good people is like asking a painter, “If happy colors create bright, happy paintings, why would you add sad or dark colors?” From the artist’s perspective, the answer is obvious: because it increases the creative possibilities and adds contrast and depth. 

As humans who live hyper-concentrated lives in individual bodies, it’s natural for us to forget the big picture outside ourselves. However, to truly answer this question, we have to zoom all the way out. What is the universe’s goal? What drives all life on the Earth and all that occurs in the cosmos? 

The answer? Expansion & creation. The reason the universe never repeats anything in the exact same way (people, planets, etc.) is because it’s after new possibilities. Although ‘good’ energy and ‘bad’ energy are opposite energy things, to keep them separated rather than mix them would severely restrict the types of creative outcomes that could exist. 

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Although suffering is an unpleasant experience, it’s useful to the universe because it’s one of the greatest catalyzers of change. After all, people rarely change until they have to. Change leads to transformation, and transformation leads to new possibilities 

This can be jarring to realize because for our lives to unfold according to the universe’s wishes (rather than our own) goes against our childhood experiences. As children, everything revolved around us. Evolutionarily, it was advantageous for the family unit to revolve around our needs, our wants, our desires, etc.

If children die, human genes wouldn’t get passed on there would be no future for humanity will die out. Therefore, as children, we develop a subconscious entitlement because our needs are always prioritized. While this entitlement is useful for survival (the child who openly vocalizes their wants and needs is more likely to get them than the child who doesn’t), it can serve as an obstacle in adulthood.

When it comes to modern adult life and understanding anything beyond ourselves, entitlement can blind us. So when someone thinks, “Why are bad things happening to me if I’m a good person?” It’s because, unlike your parents who prioritized your needs for the sake of continuing their genes and humanity, the universe doesn’t particularly prioritize any individual’s comforts or needs; it prioritizes general creative expansion.

To put it another way: A bad thing is happening to you because the universe wants to learn what can happen as a result, and it wants to see what you do and what you create from it. It might push you to your limits because what do we learn more from: staying safe or testing boundaries? Testing boundaries. This is why it can seem, sometimes, like the universe either is against you. Sometimes you will be pushed to your limits because the universe wants to know–is it a limit, or will you invent a solution that will expand the boundary? 

Put another way, many people know that billions of years from now, the Earth will collide with the sun. If humans don’t find a way off the earth by then, it’ll be the end of humanity. How could this happen? Because the universe isn’t particularly trying to preserve humans’ comforts and needs. It’s not in favor of anything or anyone–just creative expansion.

Although this might not have been the answer you were expecting, hopefully it was able to offer some relief and comfort.

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