I constantly hear the phrase, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” However, how do you define a good person? Many people do delude themselves that someone is good, or choose to overlook any less than favorable traits, often finding an excuse for them. Others consider themselves good, but how do they come to that conclusion? A good person is subjective, in relation to what? How can you measure goodness—in comparison to those around them, or based on what they have done? Does working for a charity automatically make a person good? Not always, because people may have other motives, such as wanting to appear philanthropic, or others may work for a charity because they need a work reference. Are those affiliated with a church or religion deemed good without question? Should they be? A person of the cloth has traditionally symbolized goodness, but in recent years it has been revealed that there has been corruption and less than moral behaviors in a number of religions.
Society has become a minefield of people with high expectations, where tit-for-tat is expected. Whenever a deed is carried out, many subconsciously store it and expect something in return, whether it’s being neighborly, or helping a colleague meet a deadline at work. Do these deeds make you a good person because you choose to help another person? Shouldn’t we all help one another without wanting thanks, a reward, or the favor returned? That’s the sign of a truly good person—one that does things from the heart, and who doesn’t make a tally of the deeds or expects anything in return.
We then move onto what is defined as bad? When things don’t always go according to plan, some people think that something bad has happened to them. It’s subjective as to what one expects, and how one copes. There are people who would say bad things happen because someone deserves it, but do they have a right to judge? A bad thing can be someone being in a tragic accident and losing a limb, or to another a bad thing is having a partner end a relationship. Neither is pleasant, but can one be equal to another?
Humans choose to do bad or good things, and Fate can force the hand of bad situations for a number of reasons—many of which we will never be privy to. It could be repaying Karma, helping another Soul learn a lesson, but we cannot expect good things to happen all of the time. Even those with a gifted life may think they have bad things happen to them, often superficial things, for example, if they can’t find a parking space when they go shopping, or a hotel has doubled booked their reservation. Are those really bad things, or just inconvenient, and thus are labeled bad. In the real world they are not really bad things, but in the mind of those who expect good things to happen all the time, they are.
It’s not a matter of whether a person deserves good things to happen to them, but what a person considers good or bad. In the context of society those boundaries get stretched and what some consider a good act, others would consider normal. For example, helping an old lady with her groceries—it’s a good act, but it’s normal to help the elderly. Has this been elevated to being exceptionally good because people no longer do what is considered normal human nature? Has society become more selfish, and thus the definitions of good and bad are dependent on the culture and generation of the person? Is it bad when a restaurant runs out of the dish you want, or you get stuck in traffic and are late. These are superficial bad things that with patience and understanding can be dealt with. Much of what we perceive as bad or good is in our minds, as we judge from our experiences. Bad things happen to all of us so that we can appreciate the good, and stop considering the superficial things as bad.
Good things happen to bad people, but are they really that bad? When bad things happen to good people, do we assume a person is good, or merely is it what we wish to believe? People expect good things to happen to them if they do good things, but it’s not like a see saw; a good act doesn’t automatically lead to someone receiving good luck. Is good luck, the same as when things work out as planned? Life is not perfect, and as much as one likes to plan things, they can go wrong. When good things happen, we should appreciate them, and when bad things surface, we brace ourselves and ride the storm. At times the storm is long and destructive, but we survive—a little battered and bruised, but with a greater appreciation of when good things do occur.