August 31, 2017

“Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People?” is the Wrong Question.

Our Attitude affects our Reality: This is why Attitude Counts.

“Why do bad things happen to good people?” 

I’ve heard people asking this question frequently, as I did many times before. It appears to us that sometimes the universe has no other purpose than to throw bad things at us.

It bewilders us, especially when we channel our energy into doing good deeds. We know we’re good people, yet we still face the death of loved ones, go through terrible breakups, lose our jobs, or have to live with chronic diseases.

We become demotivated and almost believe that we should be bad people so good things will happen to us.

This is something that has confused me for a long time. I’ve tried almost everything to stop bad things from happening—I’ve tried positive thinking, delved into the law of attraction, and almost jumped into witchcraft.

It took me a long time to realize that the reason “bad things happen to good people” is not the problem. The problem is why we ask this question in the first place.

Bad things that happen could be the result of karma, luck, or pure coincidence. I could come out with a variety of answers—but I’m not delving into this question, because the truth is that we don’t know for sure how life operates. Each person explains it according to their own experiences.

That said, we might not be able to change some things in life, but we can surely change how we perceive them.

You see, we have control over certain things in life—but not everything. The problem arises when we realize that we’re not entirely in control. We can’t prevent death, for instance, save a relationship, or stop our business from crumbling.

Oftentimes, no matter how hard we put our energy and effort into something, when it’s meant to end, it will end.

Still, we go on asking: Why do bad things happen? When I used to ask this question, I was oblivious to the fact thatin life, all sorts of things happen to everyone. The problem isn’t that certain things happen—the problem is me not wanting them to happen.

Changing our perception starts with cutting off our mental duality. We need to accept that life is a set of good and bad. There’s birth, but there’s also death. And I’m not only referring to physical death. Our opinions are prone to die from moment to moment. Relationships die, and new ones are born. Situations come to an end, and new ones arise. The cycle of birth and death is inevitable. It’s the core of life—without it, there wouldn’t be existence.

Having the right attitude toward life is about understanding the flow of good and bad. Bad things happen to everyone—not just good people. This isn’t called “positive thinking,” and I won’t kid you into practicing it. I would, however, refer to having the right attitude as “realistic thinking,” which is much more powerful than adopting a positive mental pattern.

Changing our attitude may or may not change our reality. Either way, we shouldn’t change our attitude simply to get something good in return. Attitude isn’t a means to an end. The outcome shouldn’t matter to us, but what should matter is our present moment right now. As long as we perceive the bad as problematic, we will suffer.

Perception plays an imperative role in our lives. It might not change the outer reality, but it certainly creates a new reality in which our minds become devoid of problems to stress over. Having a good attitude only when good things happen is easy—but what truly distinguishes us as wise and strong human beings is our attitude when bad things happen.

Even if you’re not having an awesome day, decide that it is still awesome. Accept that the clouds might overshadow the sun, but understand that the clouds will pass by, and in no time, the sun will shine again. We must learn to love the bad and look for the good that’s hiding inside of it.

If there’s one great lesson that I’ve learned, it is that I can be either my greatest friend or my own worst enemy. I’m convinced that life and people aren’t against me…I’m the only one against myself.



Having a Good Attitude means Having a Good Time.


Author: Elyane Youssef
Image: Shifaaz Shamoon/Unsplash 

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy editor: Leah Sugerman
Social editor: Leah Sugerman

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