Fate, Our Old Bittersweet Mysterious Friend

Last night, I sent a little tweet on twitter asking: “What do you do when even fate is having trouble deciding what do with you?”

It was a question that occured to me and that I thought was quite funny, after a little surprise I found waiting for me in the evening, that reminded me how sarcastic our old friend fate can be, and how it sometimes chooses to mess around with your mind for fun.

The message on twitter got replicated on my facebook wall, on friendfeed and elsewhere; and it got a number of interesting replies, one of which was by my friend Amine Kochlef, that got me thinking more about life, fate and its inner workings.

Amine’s take was: “We decide for ourselves, fate is just a mirage built upon our cultural background.
Very beautifully said, but I don’t totally agree, yet I don’t disagree either.

That view eliminates fate altogether, implying that everything is in our own hands, we decide for ourselves, we build our own lives, make our own choices, and go wherever we want to go.

The problem with that view, as much as we’d like to believe in it, is that it only works in a world where we’re alone, with no exterior influence, only affected by our own actions, with a direct and clear cause and effect relationship for everything.

The thing is we’re not in such a world, and people’s actions are complexly intertwined in a way that a little action by someone could have a direct or indirect effect on someone right next to them or someone else halfway across the world; now multiply that by several several times. 
All these actions are things that a person has no control over, but are all factors that come into play in their life, and affect the outcome of their own  decisions and  actions.

This plethora of actions taking place around us, sometimes fall into place to work in our favor, and in other times against us; and some of the words we have created to describe all this are: luck, coincidence, jinx, …etc.

One of the definitions of fate is: “An event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future; Your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you)“.

This view eliminates our role in determining what happens to us, putting it fully in the hands of this so-called fate, which basically means that whatever we do, the results will be the same as it’s all pre-determined no matter what we do. That of course cannot be true, because it goes against basic logic and truth.

Like most things in life, I think the truth falls somewhere in the middle; we don’t live in a strictly direct action/effect world, and neither do we live in a world where only the effect exists no matter the action taken. I think it’s more like a bunch of  actions/reactions/effects combinations.

These combinations of actions, reactions, effects, coincidences, lucky strikes, jinxes and what not are what I think fate really is; a living ever-changing sequence of intertwined acts that touches every single one of us, plays games with us, gives us a break at times, blocks a road some other times, puts us at a crossroads every once in a while, and creates the circumstances around us that we operate and move in, take our own decisions in, only to further grow it, injecting more life into it.

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