Friday, June 24, 2005
Fate and Activism
The question keeps coming back around to me. It's a question of fate. A question of reality. Do we take action, fight the state of affairs to get what we want or what we think is good? Or do we let events take their course, and do our best to do what is right in the process. This all depends on what we believe about fate or about the powers of the universe. Is what happens to me something that fate, or the hand of God, has brought about for my good? Or is misfortune something to be battled, throwing ourselves against the storms of life, or paving our own way through this dense forest of choices. For instance, consider a man wants to "get the girl." That man of course being me and that "girl" being, well, a girl. So if a man wants to get the girl, suppose the girl does not seem interested: does he do all in his power to change the circumstance, try his best to get the girl to like him? Or should he trust that this circumstance is the hand of fate or the hand of God, and that it is probably for the best? Or suppose the girl seems a little interested, and if things happened just right, he supposes he really could get that girl. Should he again do all in his power to persuade the girl to his desire? Or should he wait for the right opportunity, for that time when fate brings the two of them together... or doesn't. This question, of course, could be applied to any circumstance of life: getting that job, well... I can't think of a whole lot of others. From what I undestand, those who have succeeded in these areas would probably say not to trust fate, but if you want something to happen, then make it happen. But sometimes I just wonder if these people are happy. There's a reason we love songs and movies that convince us of the goodness of fate and how everything just seems to work out. It's what makes us happy. Those wonderful moments when things are as they should be, when the curtains are pulled back and the morning sun shines and welcomes us to the new day, that new and joyous occasion of peace and bliss. It just happens, it just works out. The sun rises and the sunrise is beautiful, whether we will it or no. So which is it? The romantic or the pragmatic? I don't think that romanticism excludes any belief in action, nor does pragmatism exclude any belief in the ultimate good. So I'm stuck. Neither position seems wrong or morally questionable. Neither position seems completely convincing. Perhaps it is best for me if I keep waffling between the two: fate's way of getting me where I need to go. Or perhaps it is best that I continue to wrestle and wrestle with the question until I finally wrest the answer from the skies. But then I come full circle, and I'm stuck again with my question.