How does one exactly start a tirade? Let me jump straight in to a story.
"When I was a child in Iraq, I remember one day laughing and pointing out that a girl was wearing the same outfit she had the day before. Seemed like something to laugh about at the time. But I was soon sharply told off by our resident Yugoslavian, ‘We’re not all rich like you to change our clothes everyday!’
It was at this point that I looked down at my intricately woven United Colours of Benetton sweater and compared it to the generic single colour outfits worn by my compatriots that might have come from the Pettah market. It was a rude awakening. I realized I had so much more than them. I went from snob to humbled in a single moment.
Shortly after I started to give away my Nutella sandwiches that I was provided for lunch in exchange for local food from others. The country was under sanctions, nothing luxurious was available. This went on for a while until my parents found out and well told me I was quite frankly insane and did not know the value of money. Looking back on it now I guess I can see their point."
So I’m going to ask you now, what did I do that earned me all the comforts in life that included Satellite TV, a Benz, chocolate, Pepsi, Mega Drive that just about everyone else was denied? Being about 10 I doubt I had done anything to win the favour of any deity.
If it was God, why had an entire nation been singled out for supposed punishment? Surely the little children growing up in the country hadn’t committed any kind of crime, yet they were also pulled in. It doesn’t make sense. My mother said something along the lines of ‘the people here used to live in ridiculous excess, throwing away half eaten bread and not realizing the value of things, but now they realize.’ That seems to be a Karma argument, but could be attributed to God.
But then surely looking at the situation today where people in Japan’s cities are lining up at soup kitchens to receive a single meal a day, no longer having a job to sustain them, what have we done in Sri Lanka to deserve a fate better than them? Have we performed some noble feat to please God? Were we collectively well behaved in our previous lives to earn us good Karma? You could argue Japan has committed horrific war crimes, but are those the bulk of the people living in the country today? You could say Iraq invaded Kuwait, but not all Iraqi's were behind Saddam Hussein, he was a dictator.
Or could it be the scary thought that the Universe is governed by a systematic form of Chaos? Things just happen. They are unpredictable and without warning. At any second a natural disaster can show its unsightly face, much like the 2004 tsunami and wipe out lives without scrutiny.
Is it possible that we as men strive to rationalize an irrational world by easing our mental burdens with belief schemes? We implement laws, customs, practices and processes to maintain a sense of regularity and control that can rudely be interrupted at any point.
I don’t seek to rob you of the comfort that your deity gives you, but is that how we go to sleep at night? We justify all terrible events as being something we deserved either by Karma or punishment from God. There has to be a reason for misery, I mean if its all random and senseless, well that’s just plain scary.