The teary-eyed contestant can barely speak,  he just can't believe he's been kicked off so early in the game!
Staring into the camera, he hears himself stammer, 
"You know, I've always believed ... everything happens for a reason."

On reality television, this line is repeated almost  as often as the phrase "They threw me under the bus!!" is excitedly shouted by an outraged contestant. 

The fact that it's repeated so often leads me to believe that most must people feel similarly.

But does everything happen for a reason?

Well, there's the obvious answer that every action is the product of cause and effect.  So, in that sense, yes everything has to happen for the reason that made it happen. 

But, I think when people say "everything happens for a reason" they're not referring to the logical rule of "cause and effect", instead they seem to be alluding to the belief that everything they do and every decision they make is the result of an unseen force that's looking out for the good of their well being. 

This concept is interesting, but it reminds me of the ancient belief in a geocentric universe. A long time ago, people incorrectly believed earth was the center of the solar system, universe, everything. In other words, everything revolved around humanity.

I don't think everything that happens in life revolves around me, my happiness, or even around the pushing of me towards some kind of "Ah ha moment" ( yeah, I did just cringe as I typed that). 

I think we were created to decide who we want to be and what we want to do with our lives, the ability to decide is a gift.  Sometimes we misuse this gift and chalk it up to "life" or "fate". I've definitely been guilty of misusing my "gift" and at times I've blamed it on my circumstances. 

In conclusion, we may not live in a universe that revolves around our need for fulfillment, but we are certainly masters of our own decisions. No matter what set of circumstances we come from,  we have the power to set goals and reach them, we have the ability to search for beauty in what seems like chaos, and we have the power to make decisions that have a positive effect on the people around us.

In case you're wondering, yes I did just watch The Bachelor on ABC, and yep, that's why I'm typing this.
I still can't believe I wasted an hour watching that.... oh well. It was my decision   : )
Ever been making your way through a particularly horrid day when suddenly, in the midst of your misery, you see a puppy?

I don't mean an imaginary puppy that no one else sees, because then this blog would be headed in a more "When It's Time To See A Doctor" direction.  But seriously, a real puppy.

Puppies have this great way of making life more like life and less like a tiring battle for survival.
Being around animals somehow makes us more human.

Its true that just about every living thing on our planet is involved in a daily struggle for survival. Birds go through all sorts of rigamarole to find enough food to feed their young.  Insects ferociously fend off other insects, fly swatters, and territorial humans just for the twenty-four to forty-eight hours of existence they've been granted.  So, life is a fight. But what makes life worth fighting for?

The person who has ever spent a significant amount of time playing with a puppy, petting a kitten, or even  staring into a golden sunset (while their pet fish stares at them wondering when on earth they're going to be fed) is not a sappy person, but they're someone who knows exactly what makes life worth fighting for.

Let's all adopt a puppy now.