The Ripple Effect

A metaphor for life?

Do you ever wonder why some people seem to lead charmed lives whereas others, no matter how hard they try have nothing but bad luck? Some say we make our own luck. I think this is true only up to a point. The truth is shit happens to good people. And what about the expression, to have the luck of the devil? Or the good die young? Many of the most beautiful, intelligent and kindest people still end up getting cancer or being killed in a car crash by a drunk driver. In fact the most terrifying things are beyond our control and that is why humans have invented religion. For protection.

The ripple effect takes place when one massive disaster befalls a person, eg. a serious illness, war, an abusive parent, and this leads to other negative consequences. More and more bad luck follows like a chain reaction, eg. illness – loss of job – loss of income – loss of home – loss of friends or partner who don’t want to associate with someone they label as a loser – loss of self esteem which leads to bad decision making, depression and even more bad luck.

Too often in our therapy obsessed world we end up blaming the victim. Therapists may suggest we are the ones who need to change, we have distorted perception, wrong attitudes, etc. Is this necessarily true? Or were we in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person? We employ this weird magical thinking…..did your house flood because you are a negative person or because it was built on a flood plain by an unscrupulous builder. Yes, we must take responsibility for our own lives but we are not to blame for everything. I was once told by a so-called friend that my disability must be due to my evil actions in a previous life! You’ve got to laugh! And this woman was a teacher working with disabled children!

So yes, let’s be positive and try our very best to live an honourable life but we are not responsible for all the sins of the world. Call it Fate, call it Luck or God but there are forces beyond our control.

What do you think? Do you agree?

Photo by the author