Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What is Bad? (2)

What is good versus what is bad, is usually determined by how we think we will be ultimately affected by what is happening. If we really looked in depth, we would realize that most of what we determine to be bad, is created in our own minds. The only way we could possibly determine whether something is bad, would be if we could foresee the end results. Since this is impossible, we create a future world in which we determine how the event will negatively impact our lives. Based on this imaginary future we make a determination as to whether the event is good or bad.
A very simple example can be illustrated through sports. When the Miami Heat pulled off one of the biggest trades in the history of the NBA, it was a great thing and people in Miami were elated. However if you lived in Clevland, it was betrayal and the end of your franchise. The people in Clevland were were insanely upset. Oh yeah, and the rest of the country had mixed emotions. Based on how each group thought they would be affected, they determined whether the event was a “good thing” or a “bad thing.” The reality is that not even one single game has been played yet. No one really knows what any of it means. We can have our ideas but nothing has really happened yet. It may be the best thing that ever happened to Clevland and the worst thing that ever happened to Miami.
So how can one event be a good thing, a bad thing, or “no thing” all at once? The answer is that it can’t. It is just an event, neither good nor bad, just an event. That example is simple but powerful because so many people can have their entire mood change and their lives affected from the results of one sporting event. Life is too important and short to be affected by something so trivial.

Here’s a more powerful example: My dad died when I was thirteen and that was a bad thing that happened to me and my family. Or was it? Originally I perceived this to be the most horrific thing that could have happened to me. I spent many nights asking God why he would do this to me. It is only now that I realize that with my father’s death, many great things have happened in my life. My wife, my children and the way I look at life, are all direct results of his death. In short, I am who I am today, because of his death, not inspite of it. I am not suggesting that everything that happens will feel good. I am only suggesting that if you look back at your life, many of the things that you thought to be so horrible at the time, turned out to be good things. In the end when we look back with the benefit of knowing the conclusion, everything will be good.

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