I believe in the strictest term that “fate” is an illusion. There is no “grand plan” for each of us. The journey that we embark upon in life is under our control. The path and the decisions we make every moment of every day is our own creation.
Yes, I may not be responsible for the occasional horror that may befall me as I am not responsible for the behavior or actions of others. Yet, what brought me to that particular place and time? Was it some mystic cosmic force guiding my every action in life or was it a result of the decisions I myself have made?
The problem is us, ourselves. We put more effort into deciding what we will eat for supper than we put into planning every aspect of our daily activities. More spontaneity over careful planning is ultimately our undoing. We have become creatures of comfortable non-thinking. Some speak of the inability of people to engage in critical discourse with each other, I believe we have lost the ability to engage ourselves, our own minds.
We whine and complain about everything. We complain about work, our families, money and our own carnal desires. But we almost never sit down, shut-up and think. We don’t engage in mental “war games” to explore our desires and how to avoid the pitfalls of daily life to get where we want to be tomorrow.
Yet, I also agree with the stance that sometimes events are outside of our individual control. Some years ago, while driving home on a stormy afternoon, I found myself in this exact situation. While driving on the interstate in a driving rain, a semi-truck struck my vehicle when the driver changed lanes. At 65 mph, this is no small event. My car was sent spinning out of control into a highway construction zone through a large construction sign.
What happened to me is the opposite one would think. Although I was immediately in fear for my life, that changed in a blink of an eye. As I had a “death grip” on the steering wheel, a sudden feeling of a calming peacefulness invaded my thoughts. I closed my eyes and thought to myself…”Well, if I die then I die. There’s nothing I can do about it now.” When I finally opened my eyes, the rain had let up and traffic was unaffected by the event. And I was, for the most part unharmed.
Did “fate” spare me? Did I surrender my free will to fate? I would like to think that I was just being pragmatic. I just accepted the situation for what it was. Does fate exist? I don’t know. But what I can say is, sometimes you just got to grab the handles of life and just ride it out.