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Does everything happen for a reason? |

Does everything happen for a reason?

| Monday, June 6, 2011 12:00 a.m

Hey, Cherie!

I’m 14. I’m in honors classes, so I do a lot of thinking. When anything goes wrong, my best friend, Denise, always says: “Everything happens for a reason.” I don’t see how this could be true. How is that even possible• Like I’m supposed to believe that God picks out little kids to get hit by cars or God gives people terrible diseases• Or a tornado kills one person but not another person• Does that mean God likes one person more than the other?

I know this is an unusual question, and you probably can’t answer it, because no one probably can answer it. But after reading some of your novels, it seems like you think about stuff like this, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

My parents say, “Everything happens for a reason,” too. So, I hear it all the time.

— Doubter

Hey, Doubter!

ou’re right. It sure isn’t the usual kind of question I get, but it’s a great one, which is why I’m using it. I have to admit when I hear “everything happens for reason” coming from someone’s lips — and I hear it all the time — I kind of want to kick them in the shin or pour a beverage on their head. I’m not proud of this and never actually would do it, but it drives me nuts.

If everything happens because of some grand design, then what about that little thing called free will• What would be the point of affirmatively doing anything if some puppet master is going to pull the string• Some things we can control, while some things we can’t control.

So, the answer to your question is … I don’t know. But I do know this: Whether you believe in that little saying or not, when bad things do happen, you have a choice of how you react, what you learn from it and whether or not you choose to make something good happen from something evil.

Hey, Cherie!

My name is Robert. I’m 12. This is kind of gross, but here it goes. My mom got remarried about six months ago. Her new husband farts. Everyone farts, I guess, but usually, it’s private or you try to go the silent-but-deadly route.

Well, Jack, my stepfather, just lifts a leg and lets ‘her rip, even in public. It’s so gross. He told me it is a “natural bodily function.”

My mom raised me that farting is wrong, especially in public. But when Jack farts, she just smiles like it never even happened. Jack even did the leg-lift fart in front of my friends. I really need help.

— Stepson of Fart Man

Hey, Stepson!

Seriously gross, especially that lifting-the-leg thing. Kinda reminds me of a dog at a fire hydrant. Canines can get away with it, but it’s so not cool for humans. I suggest that, sometime when Jack isn’t around, you have a talk with your mom.

Don’t whine and don’t attack Jack directly — if you attack, she’ll defend her new husband. Instead, frame it as your problem when he does it in front of your friends. It humiliates you and they tease you about it. I give you better than 50-50 odds she’ll talk to Jack privately about not doing his thing in public. If that doesn’t work, you could turn it into a joke and carry a mini-bottle of air freshener in your back pocket.

Then, when Jack does his thing, you can ostentatiously spray the air. You still might suffer through the odor and all-around grossness, but your friends will find it hilarious.

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