Thought in the shower: Thinking about people who are always saying there is a reason for everything. For instance I am in Sweden for a reason; I lost my job; I pulled a muscle; My wife left me; I had Maypo for breakfast; An asteroid landed in my backyard; Etc…. All for a reason.
I’ve never really subscribed to it. Then I was thinking about the the net outcome of maintaining that belief over a lifetime. And it gave me cause to wonder if I should subscribe to it.
If you believe there is a reason for everything then you would treat the “now” with a whole other magnitude of respect. Because “now” is “now” for a reason. A reason that perhaps you would try to facilitate. Because “now” is contributing to a greater purpose, it is a step down a path that is leading to something. What ever you are doing right now on an idle Tuesday afternoon, you are supposed to be doing. That gives this idle moment meaning. In the end you have a life filled with meaning. A meaningful life. Since so many people complain that their life has no meaning, and suffer because of it, perhaps this outlook can help.
In fact, I wonder of holding this belief may even spur one to action and create meaning. A self-fulfilling prophecy. Let’s say you treat this insignificant moment (and every insignificant moment) as if it matters and is leading somewhere significant. Over a lifetime, could that habit actually leads you to places in life you would not have otherwise gone? Places that are more significant to you? (Reading this, I think I may have been watching too much LOST lately … but then if I hadn’t, I may not have written this post and you would be doing something else right now.)
Reminds me of the scene from No country for Old Men when the killer (Chigurh) walks into to the gas station in the middle of nowhere, flips a quarter in the air and asks:
Chigurh: Call it.
Proprietor: Call it?
Proprietor: For what?
Chigurh: Just call it.
Proprietor: Well – we need to know what it is we’re callin for here.
Chigurh: You need to call it. I can’t call it for you. It wouldn’t be fair. It wouldn’t even be right.
Proprietor: I didn’t put nothin up.
Chigurh: Yes you did. You been putting it up your whole life. You just didn’t know it. You know what date is on this coin?
Chigurh: Nineteen fifty-eight. It’s been traveling twenty-eight years to get here. And now it’s here. And it’s either heads or tails, and you have to say. Call it.
Proprietor: Look… I got to know what I stand to win.
Proprietor: How’s that?
Chigurh: You stand to win everything. Call it.
Proprietor: All right. Heads then.
Chigurh takes his hand away from the coin and turns his arm to look at it.
Chigurh: Well done.
He hands it across.
Chigurh: …Don’t put it in your pocket.
Chigurh: Don’t put it in your pocket. It’s your lucky quarter.
Proprietor: …Where you want me to put it?
Chigurh: Anywhere not in your pocket. Or it’ll get mixed in with the others and become just a coin. Which it is.
The dispute enters when you ask who supplies the reason, logic and meaning behind every moment. Is it God the supreme puppet master? Or is is nature? Is God-as-puppet-master mearely primitive man’s way of understanding the entirety of nature? Is there a reason to me asking this question? Has it given this moment meaning?