Fortune And Fate

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

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Wheel of Fortune, Las Vegas and love at first sight are all examples of the human conflict with Fate versus Chance. Humans by nature have a natural curiosity towards what is in store for them. Poets, authors, songwriters and artists have described this fascination, but none that I have encountered has described the turbulence one can encounter with such accuracy like the above verse, which was written in the Middle Ages. The idea of destiny versus chance has been a topic for social debate as long as there has been the conflict of science and religion. It is fascinating to ponder the possibility that humankind may be following a predetermined path or the chance that we all may be headed towards a certain goal, no matter what we do along the way, call it heaven or hell.

Certain chains of events in my life have developed my belief that many different paths lead to the same goal.

In other words, there are many different paths down which fortune may go, but in the end, no matter what the outcome may be, there is an end to it all that would equalize everything that has occurred in my life. That view is based on a faith in predetermined destiny, which implies that there is a general plan for a lifespan set by God, but it must be lived out. I do not like to accept idea of total fate because I do not like the feeling that I am not in control, and I feel that we need some control over our destiny or we would not really be humans with free will, yet I believe that all things are set on a path at the beginning of their existence. If people find their way off the path, God is can help them back, no matter if they believe that they are being helped or if they remain completely oblivious to that fact.

I live my life from one moment to the next, hoping that it will not be my last. Fate can deal a bad card or it can improve my life considerably. Even the way things are viewed can directly affect the way that things continue to go. Once, a very good friend of mine, who was always ready to listen to me rant on about nothing in particular, recently got engaged to his girlfriend. Now normally, this would seem a good thing, but I think that is an unhealthy relationship. Although I do not agree with his decision to get married at such a young age, as they both just graduated from high school, I respect his judgment because it is his choice. If I was unable to get over his decision, I may not have remained friends with him. It is like an improvisational play; it is known that there is an end and I must use my time on the stage as best as I can, no matter if I even miss a line or stumble.

My life contains a long list of mistakes, bad decisions and bad days, but I can look back at those times as learning experiences instead of harping on my problems, which, by this time, I should have learned a lot from. Everyone has his own share of problems and may view them as the worst possible situations, but all those experiences can help us on our journey through life. These cards that are dealt are meant as tests for your character. If they can be overcome, we are able to move on to the next step in our lives. I have lost a brother, yet within a year I gained another. When I lost my brother, I was devastated. He had been the one I could always talk to and I knew he would listen. It took me a while but I began to realize that there was nothing that I could have done to help him and if I had changed anything, that experience would directly affect the person I am today. Without his death, I would not have the compassion and understanding for those who have lost loved ones that I have today. Within the year, my family adopted a young boy and he was added to our family. If I had kept a constant negative attitude, I would have never been able to move on with my life and reach that final goal of all people, happiness. My brother has been gone for 3 years now and I have accepted that and that is why I am able to pursue that which I wanted.

We all try to tempt Fate through means of thrill seeking and pushing the envelope but perhaps that is the moment that we were set to pass away. Perhaps life is merely a game of Russian Roulette in which we do not have any idea if the bullet is in the chamber or if it is even in the gun. Perhaps we are mere pawns in a grand game of one-sided chess, played by some greater power beyond our control or comprehension. Revolvers and deities aside, we can assume one thing: someone, somewhere, is laughing, and another, is crying. Those two people may be expressing their emotions about the same event. It is all in how we view are situation and how we deal with whatever is thrown our way.