Everything happens for a reason

Richard Channing

Telly Talk Mega Star
Messages
3,022
Reaction score
5,748
Location
Tuscany Valley
Medals
11
Member Since
December 21st, 2013
You hear it a lot these days. Is this a philosophy you subscribe to? Or do you think it's just something people say to make themselves feel better when things go wrong?
 

Frank Underwood

Telly Talk Star
Messages
2,646
Reaction score
558
Medals
3
Member Since
June 2001
It's one of those cliched sayings I've always found annoying. It's like when a child is killed and someone says "God needed an angel." I find it patronizing and dumb.

Cliched tripe like that doesn't soften the blows of life.
 

Michael Torrance

Telly Talk Mega Star
Messages
3,011
Reaction score
1,980
Location
Roaming
Member Since
2017 I think (unless it is 2016)
But do they know what the reason is?
Everything does happen for a reason, and that reason is we chose it. But people use it as a ludicrous philosophical comfort blanket, often to assure themselves that someone else is in charge of their actions. My favourite poem on this subject is Frost's 'The Road Not Taken," which of course most people read with the mind-frame Frost wanted to critique: rationalizing bad choices to make it sound as if one doesn't really regret them, when in reality they keep coming back to them unable to let go of their mistakes.

And it is just as bad when someone thinks fate/God/the golden monkey set out a cosmic plan to achieve their own personal target: for example, athletes scoring and pointing to heaven. Yes, God took some time out from stopping a Tsunami to make sure you become MVP today.
 

Richard Channing

Telly Talk Mega Star
Messages
3,022
Reaction score
5,748
Location
Tuscany Valley
Medals
11
Member Since
December 21st, 2013
It's one of those cliched sayings I've always found annoying. It's like when a child is killed and someone says "God needed an angel." I find it patronizing and dumb.

Cliched tripe like that doesn't soften the blows of life.
One saying that bothers me that's particularly popular at the moment is "It is what it is". Which has to be one of the most bland and useless pieces of advice or reassurance. What does that even mean?

It is was it is? Oh, and all this time here I was thinking it is what it isn't. Thanks!!
 
Last edited:

Alexis

Telly Talk Hero
Messages
6,668
Reaction score
6,234
Medals
3
Member Since
July 2007
One saying that bothers me that's particularly popular at the moment is "It is what it is". Which has to be one of the most bland and useless pieces of advice or reassurance. What does that even mean?

It was it is? Oh, and all this time here I was thinking it is what it isn't. Thanks!!
A young girl I work with says this all the time and I have to admit I find it kind of funny. She mostly uses it to describe the absolute shambles that often occur in her life.
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
Messages
13,888
Reaction score
16,090
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002

James from London

Telly Talk Superstar
Top Poster Of Month
Messages
4,346
Reaction score
5,220
Location
Brixton
Medals
5
Member Since
Time immemorial
I think it's human nature to want to impose a narrative on things. Like I never found Princess Diana very interesting when she was alive, but once she had died while being chased by the paparazzi, her life suddenly became a Shakespearean tragedy: it was all leading up to this point. Even if it wasn't really.

It's easy to be cynical about people wanting to imbue stuff with meaning that probably isn't there -- I'm especially intolerant of it on social media -- but I think it's impossible not to do it to some extent. I think we'd go mad if we didn't.
 

Michael Torrance

Telly Talk Mega Star
Messages
3,011
Reaction score
1,980
Location
Roaming
Member Since
2017 I think (unless it is 2016)
It's easy to be cynical about people wanting to imbue stuff with meaning that probably isn't there -- I think we'd go mad if we didn't.
I find from my experience with people, that they are the other way around.

Is everything that happens to us a matter of choice?
Not everything. If you are the passenger of Germanwings flight 9525, something happened to you that wasn't your choice. But it wasn't something written in the stars, the Bible, the book of Nostradamus, the Vedas, or the tea leaves either.
 
Last edited:

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
Messages
13,888
Reaction score
16,090
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
Not everything. If you are the passenger of Germanwings flight 9525, something happened to you that wasn't your choice. But it wasn't something written in the stars, the Bible, the book of Nostradamus, the Vedas, or the tea leaves either.
And yet it's hard not to feel some kind of "destiny" when you manage to escape a terrible tragedy, eventhough your choice has nothing to do with it.

There are so many situations when I think "Yes! this had to happen! I had to find this <precious whatever> because it means so much to me. It's destiny".
 

Michael Torrance

Telly Talk Mega Star
Messages
3,011
Reaction score
1,980
Location
Roaming
Member Since
2017 I think (unless it is 2016)
There are so many situations when I think "Yes! this had to happen! I had to find this <precious whatever> because it means so much to me. It's destiny".
I understand why people want to believe it--I just can't ever bring myself to buy it. Except, perhaps, when it comes to me and you finding each other on the forum.
:lmao:
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
Messages
13,888
Reaction score
16,090
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
I just can't ever bring myself to buy it.
I think we all understand how random life is, but to live your life as something random is another thing. Maybe that's similar to what James said.
In the grand scheme of things we are nothing, but as a person we are everything. The knowledge is too abstract for real life, interestingly, make-believe isn't.
 

Frank Underwood

Telly Talk Star
Messages
2,646
Reaction score
558
Medals
3
Member Since
June 2001
It's easy to be cynical about people wanting to imbue stuff with meaning that probably isn't there -- I'm especially intolerant of it on social media -- but I think it's impossible not to do it to some extent. I think we'd go mad if we didn't.
For the most part, I do think people who say things like "everything happens for a reason" mean well. They just don't realize what they're saying is an empty platitude.
 

Daniel Avery

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
4,074
Reaction score
4,060
Location
Sunny South Florida
Medals
4
Member Since
June 10, 2000
We're soap fans. We watch a throwaway scene or hear a line that doesn't quite 'fit' what we expected and we immediately think "There has to be some reason why they threw that in there. The writers were laying groundwork for some big reveal, or were tossing out a clue they want us to notice." Mary coughed. Oh, she must be terminally ill. Joe got a phone call and said it was a wrong number. He's hiding an affair with a co-worker. We (and I guess by extension, everyone) don't want things to be un-structured and meaningless, so we try to 'fill in the blanks' by hanging all these events onto a structure we already have in our mind. This assumes of course there is a omnipotent 'writer' throwing all this stuff out there, expecting us to understand where he/she is headed with all these plot points. Does it all actually fit together in the end, or is it just a lot of stream-of-consciousness stuff that was never meant to make any sense beyond the time it aired?
 

Toni

Telly Talk Winner
Messages
3,620
Reaction score
3,993
Location
Fletcher Sanitarium, Barcelona, Spain
Medals
5
Member Since
September 12, 2001 (poster formerly known as Pam's Twin Sister)
You hear it a lot these days. Is this a philosophy you subscribe to? Or do you think it's just something people say to make themselves feel better when things go wrong?
upload_2019-2-19_17-23-38.jpeg
 

Alexis

Telly Talk Hero
Messages
6,668
Reaction score
6,234
Medals
3
Member Since
July 2007
A young girl I work with says this all the time and I have to admit I find it kind of funny. She mostly uses it to describe the absolute shambles that often occur in her life.
She broke her wrist last night working with me... I insisted it wasn't broken, she'd be fine with some paracetamol and made her work on. She came in today with a sick line and said, "It is what it is..."
 

Alexis

Telly Talk Hero
Messages
6,668
Reaction score
6,234
Medals
3
Member Since
July 2007
Oh wow, that would so not happen to me. If it feels like it's broken then it's time to go home and watch a fabulous tv show.
LOL.... Well she just hit it off a door handle, I couldn't see how that would brake it. To be fair the nurse at work looked at it and said she may have staved or sprained it. But no, it's broken. It was all very bruised today.
 
Top