PERSONAL FILE: Finding Port in a Sea of Possibilities

I don’t believe in Fate. I think it’s intellectually lazy at best and, at worst, scorn-befitting doltery. Don’t be so quick to yourself dismiss it either as many hold fatalistic worldviews without even realizing it. Many will talk of “finding their path,” as though there were only one to find. Others will speak of life events–like finding and losing love, unexpected illness or death, fortunes won and lost–as “the Lord’s Will,” as though we’re mere unwitting actors in a divine soap opera. Granted, so much about life is beyond our ability to control: things like where and in what era of history we’re born; the conditions of our birth and our genetic heritage; endlessly variable economic, geologic, geopolitical, and sociocultural factors; etc., etc. We are, nonetheless, autonomous creatures who possess a unique combination of self-awareness, intelligence, and free will so as to be able to make decisions that can forever alter the course of life–for ourselves and those around us, for better and for worse.

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