“We make our own fortunes and we call them fate.” ~Benjamin Disraeli
I’ve noticed that when we finally give up on something is usually when it happens for us, and sometimes it’s too late to truly change anything, but on occasion it’s right on time, and it saves us as surely as anything else ever could. At least that’s my experience. So why don’t I just give up more often, relying on this general rule to play itself out from the start? Because it would never work that way. Can’t trick fate.
That’s what it is, right? Fate? This idea that things are predestined and we will arrive at the same place regardless of the journey it takes us to get there? I always liked the idea of fate because it takes things like messy decision-making and dodgy free will out of the equation. Fate equalizes the playing field, or it at least gives hope to people who might be hopeless otherwise, looking at the odds, or at the mountain they have to climb.
The true glory of fate stems, not from this hope, though, but from the possibility it affords us. See, hope is fragile like a wounded bird, just waiting for the finishing blow, while possibility is an open door that might stay open forever once we’ve wedged our foot into it. Fate is this possibility, that no matter what we do or where we go wrong we can still have the happy ending our parents always told us we were meant to have. Fairy tale reality right there.
But being married to fate has its own drawbacks too. We take the bad along with the good, the notion that if we can’t affect change for ourselves then that change may well not come. While fate gives us possibility, it can also cut off possibility once time has passed and those dreams don’t come true. And there was nothing we could have done to make them a reality for ourselves, because FATE HAS SPOKEN. Being married to fate means until death do you part, and do you really want to hang your hat on that particular rack?
Perhaps free will isn’t as cloying as I made it out to be before. Maybe that’s the real source of possibility after all, the idea that even when we make mistakes we can do something to overcome them, or to avoid them the next time we are faced with similar issues. It puts all the power in our hands, but it also gives us a grave responsibility that we should never take lightly, because as much as fate is flashy, it’s all gloss and no substance. We create our own substance, and we form the world around us, either in a well-informed way or in a devil-may-care fashion, but regardless, it’s ours.
And I want a divorce.