Attribution

Sometimes, we search for meaning. Oftentimes, we can’t find it, or we find something we didn’t particularly want to happen upon. These past couple days I’ve seen my relatives, friends, and strangers alike balk at the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Many are sad, outraged, and confused. Why would someone choose to do this? If we knew with one hundred percent accuracy why that man did it, we would probably have a scarily similar thought process to him. It’s beyond a reasonable explanation, which is what most people feel they’re entitled to. We’re curious people, and we feel it’s our right to understand everything going on around us. But really, most of it isn’t understandable.

I don’t know how I, as a person, came into being precisely. I’m not sure if it was genetics, the environment, or a particular mix of both that made me the way I am today. I certainly don’t know why the sun exists, why the first plants appeared, or why colors are a thing. It’s just kind of there, taken for granted. Many things are confusing to me, but many things are confusing to the most intelligent of humans.

Many times people replace their confusion with a blind sense of faith in some omniscient being. An example of such a person would be my mumsy. In the wake of this awful event, my mom has turned to the Christian god. She’s taken it as an opportunity to examine her faith and speak with me about it, since she knows I’m an agnostic. To her, my agnosticism is a phase I will grow out of. And who knows, maybe it is. But her lessons leave me less than moved. The lesson she chose to give after the shooting in Connecticut was short, but spoke volumes. She said that people have been treating each other horrendously for centuries, but as long as there are some good people who try to make change for the better, it’s evidence of the existence of God. If we’re saying God created everything and watches over everyone, we can’t limit his influence only to the good people in the world. There are many good agnostics and atheists in the world, and there are many evil worshipers of some sort of god. It doesn’t make sense to attribute goodness to God and evilness to man.

I believe in free will. Good people choose to do good, and bad people choose to do bad, in the simplest of terms. And lots of us choose to do inconsequential things. I’d like to think I do a bit more good than bad, but my decisions are still very complex. I’m not entirely good, and I’m not entirely evil. How can we separate man into several different aspects and say only a part of him is attributed to God and the rest is of his own doing? People come to be the way they are through many different means, but usually they play a role in it. I don’t think it’s logical to assume that part of a human is not under their direct control and the other parts are.

It’s usually beyond our grasp when we ask why the world is this way or what’s the meaning of it all. And it’s okay for it to be. It’s quite a chore to understand the motivations of everyone and everything on the planet. I think our time is better spent trying to enjoy what we do have. Instead of wondering why there’s evil in the world, be happy that there’s good too. Even if we all die on December 21st without understanding every last bit of this planet we inhabit I think it will all be okay. It doesn’t affect our happiness now or our ability to lead productive lives.

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