When Bad Things Happen

When Bad Things Happen

One of my various news or social media feeds popped up a quick ad for a right reverence (somebody) who was going to lead a workshop with a similar name, When Bad Things Happen. Cursory examination led to obvious zen underpinnings, wrapped in an orange cloak, and probably a weekend retreat spent in meditation.

Maybe a dharma talk.

I don’t know. My examination of the material stopped there, at least, I stopped looking at the ad and its contents.

However, as a recurrent theme?

When Bad Things Happen

When Bad Things Happen

It’s a fair statement, and one we all face, at one time. Over the years, I’ve learned, through service, use, observation, and personal involvement, when bad things happen, despite appearances, it usually isn’t personal. Sometimes it is a direct frontal attack, but more often than not? Not a personal attack. Might feel like one, but looking from the outside, inward? Usually it’s not. Which isn’t to suggest it’s never a personal attack or one of us doesn’t feel like there is a target etched on our back, but no, bird’s eye view?

Between several branches of “Eastern” mysticism (Tao and Zen), a sprinkling of various old world myths, some recent theologies spread around, and an over-exposure to New Age crap?

Throw in a small dose of graduate-level psych?

When Bad Things Happen

One recent image that I liked, “My tombstone should read, ‘That didn’t go as planned,’ as a fitting epitaph.”

My current personal choice?

The word, “Nothing,” engraved in stone.

But I digress.

When Bad Things Happen

The measure a soul’s humanity, the so-called “Measure of a man?” It’s not how we chose to react when good things happen, it’s what we do, or how we act, when bad things happen.

Old, kind of familiar sentiment?

“The pain is required. The suffering is optional.”

There’s a concurrent zen (like) motto, much bantered about, “All suffering derives from attachment.”

In no way does this stop outside agencies from acting in pejorative manners, not conducive with personal well-being, or, in other words? “When bad things happen,” and they will. No way to avoid that.

How we approach those setbacks, the dog-eared pages in a personal book of life? That’s what determines our soul’s humanity.

When Bad Things Happen

The most common expression I hear?

“It’s not my fault!”

Basically, that’s an excuse, by hook or by crook, it was happening in and around, and therefore, maybe not technically at fault? Both action and inaction in the face of a crisis counts as complicit behavior.

Look, bad things will always happen, and it’s about how we — individually and collectively — choose to handle the situations that makes all the difference.

When the critters start flinging the poo? No way to get away from it, that action, that behavior. What we choose to do? That is our measure of a person.

What’s more intriguing? This isn’t dependent upon a single belief system. It crosses many different systems, and the results are eerily similar. Well, mostly.

As a modern thinker? I’m pretty sure Camus and Sisyphus, cf. Scorpio, were right.

One more, see Scorpio.

It’s all about how we face intractable problems.

The Myth of Sisyphus


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