Do you believe in it?
Or is the whole concept merely an irrational symptom of a very human desire to make sense of the crazy world around us?
With society in general becoming ever more secular, has the notion of fate - of our lives having some pre-destined path - taken up the slack and helped to fill a spiritual void?
I have to say that I balk at the concept of our paths having been already mapped out for us before we even begin the journey. I will not be denied my own agency. I cannot accept that I'm not in control of my own life and that I am simply at the mercy of fates hand; a little cork bobbing helplessly around on the surface of the sea, buffeted this way and that by lifes winds and currents. I believe that I live in choice. That I can make good choices or bad ones, but that either way they are mine. I own them. They are my responsibility. I know that through my own efforts I can change and improve if need be. I know that I am the driving force behind my own destiny.
It is not possible to control every aspect of our lives however. Accidental circumstance can render one person at great disadvantage to another - where in the world you happen to have been born for example - how wealthy your parents are, or even what sort of upbringing you had. Unforeseen catastrophe can strike at any time and we can become the unwitting victims of a purely random tragedy such as a natural disaster, or a violent crime. Are we to believe then that these things are the products of fate, that they are somehow meant to be? When viewed through that lens, doesn't the whole concept of fate and its even more suspect cousin - the idea that we subconsciously choose our own paths - then become a tad offensive? I would not like to try to explain to a mother who had been caught in the crossfire of a civil war and forced to flee with her children to a refugee camp many miles away from her home, that her personal tragedy and my relative comfort and luxury were all part of a grand scheme that was somehow written in the stars.
No. I am happy to accept that my life is made up of some entirely coincidental and random happenstance on the one hand - and my own conscious design on the other. I will not hand over to fate the credit for all that is good in my life and neither will I abdicate responsibility for that which is bad. For the things that I can't control, well... I have been working on my best c'est la vie style shrug for ages. It's still a wee bit unconvincing if I'm honest, but it's coming along.
Single Parenthood... Tales From the Front Line, welcomes all points of view. If you disagree with me, don't be shy. I'm interested in what everybody has to say.