The Question No One Is Asking

Rod Pickett
2 min readDec 4, 2023

You are not the cause of everything that happens to you, but you are responsible for how you respond to everything that happens to you.
James Clear

No one asks why good things happen to good people.

It’s not as obvious as it seems.

Sure, some of the good things are the result of good choices.

But some of the good things are the result of good choices made by others.

And some of the good things are impossible to trace back to specific choices by specific individuals.

Then there are the not-so-good things that happen which also seem to produce good outcomes.

How does that happen?

Is it because good people are just lucky?

Sure looks like it.

But what’s going on at a deeper level?

When something bad happens, it is natural to feel angry, frustrated, and defeated.

But that doesn’t have to be permanent.

The way we respond to what happens is far more important than what happens.

We can waste time and energy trying to affix blame.

We can blame others, or we can blame ourselves.

Either way, it is a distraction.

If there is a lesson we need to learn, we can take notes.

“Note to self: do not grab a hot cookie tray with your bare hand.”

Then we need to move on to how we are going to respond to what happened.

Bad things do not “work out for good” on their own.

We have to do the work.

Imagine the animals in Richard Scarry’s Busy Town using a crane to lift a giant minus sign several feet into the air.

Other residents scurry to build a sturdy upright for it to rest on.

Then even more climb up on the T shape to add the top upright converting it into a plus sign.

But one of the animals, looking at the enormous plus sign, sees something else.

He goes over to the crane operator and whispers something into his ear.

Several workers attach the cable to the left side of the plus sign.

The crane slowly lifts the left side and rotates to the right.

As the plus sign is gently lowered onto what has now become a second leg, the townspeople let out a cheer.

What started as a minus is now a multiplication sign.

This is not as far-fetched as it sounds — other than the animals operating a crane.

When unexpected things happen, even bad things, we have the opportunity to see new possibilities.

We can turn bad situations into positive results.

And sometimes that bad thing can even become a positive multiplier.

— Rod Pickett

Now available at Amazon: The Courageous Heart: Wisdom for Difficult Times in paperback and eBook.

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Rod Pickett

Rod Pickett is a writer, pastor, teacher, photographer, real estate broker, certified personal trainer, consultant, woodworker, and life-long learner.