How often have you heard the expression “things happen for a reason” dragged out of the Big Box Of Clichés? This dribble of dubious wisdom is seldom intended as a vote of confidence in the basic principle of cause-and-effect. Rather, it’s a means for people to convince themselves – or others – that they haven’t just been severely fucked over by a random set of circumstances.
For some reason+, many people take great comfort in the idea that their life proceeds according to some Great Plan. This would seem to imply that the Almighty has an enormous Gantt chart (with their name on it) stuck up on the wall of His office. Presumably, He scrutinises it every so often when He has a free moment in between listening for falling sparrows, moving in mysterious ways++ and attending to the ten trillion other items on His “to do” list for today.
I find it vaguely irritating when people burble on about how a particular sequence of events led up to some or other auspicious occurrence – as if this is final definitive proof of how this specific thing was “meant to be”. Although this is true after a fashion, they are cheerfully ignoring the fact that it is also true for every single sodding event in the entire history of time.
That translates into a shitload of Gantt charts, doesn’t it?
+ i.e: wilful stupidity
++ this is quite a popular pastime in Cape Town drinking establishments. It’s what happens when you mix poor co-ordination, alcohol and the desire to dance in equal parts