“Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
When in the why and the wherefore is neither rhyme nor reason?” – Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors
Wouldn’t it be nice if it were true “every why hath a wherefore.” I think it would be absolutely amazing if there was a deep, profound reason behind every shift in the universe. Instead, I have come to learn that not everything happens for a reason… not a profound one anyway.
Sometimes things just happen because.
That’s not much of a sentence is it? Things happen just because. It doesn’t even sound complete. This half sentence makes up a lot of our lives…random collections of events that happen just because. The kind that leave us with just one nagging question…why?
Allow me to illustrate… I grew up in a teeny weeny town. The kind where most people know what’s going on with other people. There lived an elderly lady somewhere in town who had no family save for a cute little dog. In another part of town, there lived a forty something year old, married woman with children; a husband; ample finances; a huge house; a very high fence; a maid and a gardener.
One day, Mrs 40 did something inexplicable.
She stole the cute little dog.
Just like that.
She just walked past, picked it up, went home and put it down in her yard. People saw her do it. And if they hadn’t seen her, they would have heard it’s desperate non-stop barking anyway. In a small town, you can’t really do that and keep it a secret. Obviously.
Soon enough, the old lady found out who had stolen her precious and reported her to the police. The officers drove up to the gate and knocked. The jig was up, we all thought. Mrs 40 would give up the dog and be arrested. What else could she do? I mean, EVERYONE knew the dog was there. Instead, Mrs 40, snatched up the dog, handed it to the gardener, told him to climb over the fence and run. He did.
Mrs 40’s answer to the perplexed people who knew her as a reasonable person was simply…just because.
My 9 year old mind was so perplexed, I still think about Mrs 40 and I still ask the futile question, why.
Why does a bird poop on one head and not the other. Why do babies get HIV? Why do cows kick some people and not others? Why do some people have longer feet? Why does hair grow just so we can shave it? Why do girls with straight hair want curly hair? Why do I like McDonalds chips and hockey as much as each other? Maybe the answer is exactly what Mrs 40 said…just because.