Why do bad things happen to good people? A number of philosophers say: “Suffering has potential good. It’s up to an individual free choice to actualize the potential”. Consider the Biblical story of Joseph who went through terrible suffering, sold into slavery by his brothers, unfairly accused of a crime and falsely imprisoned. But location made it possible for him to be put in a role of great authority where he could save the lives of his family and others.
Life is a series of events, and until we’ve reached the end of the series, it’s hard to know exactly why things are happening. Consider this farmer who owned a horse. And one day the horse ran away. All the people in the town came to console him because of the loss. “Oh, I don’t know,” said the farmer, “maybe it’s a bad thing and maybe it’s not.”A few days later, the horse returned to the farm accompanied by 20 other horses. All the townspeople came to congratulate him: “Now you have a stable full of horses!” “Oh, I don’t know,” said the farmer, “maybe it’s a good thing and maybe it’s not.”A few days later, the farmer’s son was out riding one of the new horses. The horse got wild and threw him off, breaking the son’s leg; so all the people in town came to console the farmer because of the accident. “Oh, I don’t know,” said the farmer, “maybe it’s a bad thing and maybe it’s not.”A few days later, the government declared war and instituted a draft of all able-bodied young men. They came to the town and carted off hundreds of young men, except for the farmer’s son who had a broken leg. “Now I know,” said the farmer, “that it was a good thing my horse ran away.”
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