Editorial

Here’s an answer – there isn’t always one

Dianne St. Jean

Every once in a while we get shaken up by some kind of event or personal experience that raises up the deep and eternal, yet often unanswerable questions like, why did this happen, or, if there is a God, why did he let it happen? 

It’s that kind of situation when, even though you feel like you want or need answers, you know deep down inside that getting some kind of answer still won’t really help get rid of that sick feeling in your gut.

Right now, wherever you are, there are people in your community who are facing that reality. On a national and even international level, the incident with the Humboldt Broncos really brings that home.

In our seeking answers, I notice that there seems to be a need to put accountability, even blame, on someone or something. Somehow, assigning responsibility seems to help bring closure.

If there’s a disastrous storm, it’s Mother Nature’s doing. The gods must be angry. In the case of mistimed deaths especially, God - like some kind of selfish or punishing entity –is blamed for “taking someone away”, either because he’s angry or because “he needed another angel in heaven.” As if that’s some kind of comfort.

Then there’s the concept of karma – much more strategically applied. If something ‘bad’ happens to someone who is – well, let’s just put it this way – not liked, especially because of how they treat others – then, it’s karma. He’s getting back what he deserved. Not so much said when it’s a good person.

How do we explain karma in the light of what happened to that busload of people? It’s even less kind to say that they still deserved it, not because of their lives now, but because of a former one.

The reality is, most of what happens is just – life. The following or interruption of some kind of natural law that sometimes unfortunately results in human emotional pain. We live in an imperfect world in which the environment, or chromosomal mutations, or some other natural thing causes disease or debility – not God – not karma. And someone is killed or taken from us either because we collide, literally sometimes, with natural outcomes (rains=floods=potential drowning).

And, sometimes, unfortunately, human action neglects those laws and as a result puts them into play. You don’t need to have a Degree in Physics to guess what happens if an object travelling at high speed hits another, or be a Doctor to know what happens if you willfully ingest harmful substances and ignore the fact that it just might kill you.

And yet – as humans – we still seek answers. We need some kind of justice. 

I’m not saying that accountability or blame should be set aside. Absolutely not. But why not just call it like it is. If someone needs to be held accountable – then they should be held accountable. That at least in part helps bring some closure.

But let’s also stop tormenting ourselves by trying to figure out something that might not even be there.