Fate and destiny

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.

William Shakespeare

I hate the idea of destiny and fate. I firmly believe that the choices that we make are what shapes our lives. I’ve talked before about how your life could be so different if you made one minor decision differently. I don’t think it was fate that made you chose A over B.

I don’t like the thought of predestination. I don’t like the idea that you’re not in control of your own life. My aunt always used to say “God has a plan” when something went wrong. Know what I say? Fuck that. Grab yourself by the bootstraps, pull yourself up, and carry on as best as you can.

It’s weird, I’ve had people bring up fate in a number of conversations recently. Everything from ‘fate must have brought us together’ or ‘I’m so glad that we were fated to be friends.’ Things along those lines. Again, our choices put us on convergent paths. If I hadn’t left the lab, or even left it at a different time or for a different reason, I wouldn’t have met a lot of the people that I’ve met through work that I consider to be good friends. But I don’t believe it was fate or destiny that put me on a path to intersect with these people.

I don’t know. I just think it’s total BS. I tend to put astrology in the same category. I don’t think our paths are written in the stars. I feel like relying on these things lets people absolve themselves of responsibility to a certain extent. He didn’t mean to cheat on his wife, it was fate. Her death is just part of God’s plan. No, Karen. He cheated on his wife because A, B, and C. Or no, her death was because of A, B, or C. If I hear one more time that cancer is part of God’s plan I’m going to deck someone. Or ‘it was meant to be.’

The same can be said of mental illness. Part of the plan, my Aunt Fanny. Or my other favorite – God won’t give you more than you can handle. Really? Because I’m pretty sure that people commit suicide every day. I’m pretty sure that I might have tried a time or two myself. So fuck that noise.

In case it was unclear, I am wholeheartedly an atheist. I don’t begrudge people their religion. I get that a lot of people find a lot of comfort in this chaotic world. Hey, everyone needs a way to cope. Some people pick religion, some astrology, some drugs and alcohol. Whatever gets you through the day. But I’m really over people using predestination to explain away their choices as if they didn’t have just that – a choice.

End rant.

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