Artwork © Shulamit Elson. All Rights Reserved.


When bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people our sense of justice is insulted and our sense of order outraged.


The world proceeds in an orderly manner, or so we would like to think—parents die before children, hard work and virtue are rewarded, those who enrich themselves at the expense of others pay the price etc.— and so on.


But when the natural order is upset, we ask what is going on? We might struggle to recalibrate, to figure the rules out, once again, rules to protect ourselves in an uncertain world, reading received wisdom of generations, talking to spiritual teachers, railing against fate.


Why? Is it karma? Is it random? Is it a lesson for us?  Can someone or something outside of ourselves be blamed? Have we been singled out for a particularly ill fate?  Is there really reward and punishment in this life and/or the next. 


How we answer these questions for ourselves has a lot to do with our ability to cope, whether we get depressed, whether we go on in any meaningful way…and whether we  ever find joy again. 


I don’t know the answer to these questions  But I choose to take meaning from events if at all possible. Maybe not find out the why, because I don’t believe that to be possible, but to allow the experience to be my teacher. To learn about myself and my reactions in difficult circumstances. To move forward with faith despite all evidence to the contrary. To laugh.