Free Will Fatalism

23 06 2009

I was thinking yesterday what an interesting dichotomy I believe my general approach to life has become. On the one hand, I’ve come to believe in a certain measure of fate–not that our paths are chosen for us, but that there is a general bent to our futures that we are meant to face. On the next hand, I feel as though one’s attitude’s an actions are all the only tools one really can use to shape his or her life, and that they’re incredibly powerful tools. Meaning that two people can work the same job, have a similar dwelling, do similar activities, have similar relationships, but that if one starts treating his life as a chore or an undesirable circumstance and the other respects and embraces his lot, in the end, their attitudes will inform the totality of their existences at the end.

I will give props to my friend Joel in this regard, a friend from high school with whom I’m staying in Los Angeles. He’s working in the television industry, working a job that he doesn’t love, doesn’t have a lot of the trappings that others his age have at this point in his life, but is in no way bothered by it. I hesitate to say that it’s a faith that keeps his spirits high, although he certainly feels as though his hard work and perseverence is destined to pay off for him.

It’s an attitude that it doesn’t matter if he gets what he “wants,” because he’s taken full responsibility for being the person that he wants to be, is the person he wants to be, and is happy to be working towards what he wants every step of the way. He mentioned becoming a success in the industry as a goal, but when I pointed out that I thought he was quite a success already just for taking his life by the reigns and doing what he wanted with a smile on his face and kindness in his heart, he was quick to agree. He’s not going to be crushed if a traditional fortune doesn’t find him. Every day he is living how he wishes, diligently working towards his goals with no expectation or entitlement, and he is a happy person every moment because of it.

As far as reconciling my belief in one’s ability to steer one’s life with my belief that our destinies unroll before us, maybe it’s okay to say that the future is always scribbling away, and the possibilities one will face tomorrow are informed by the work that we do today. Where, a year ago, I was working a desk job and thinking about how to change my life, deciding that it was the wrong way to live and quitting drastically changed the possibilities for discovery in my future, and the more my mind has opened, the more I am able to relax and let the lessons come to me.

This week, I am a happy walker of the earth. Now, I believe in a mutable fate that is always ready to present me with what I need (and am prepared) to see. Then, I am a person who fears nothing, who loves everything, whose heart is a river, who can always take responsibility for the day but is always happy to be resigned to what comes.

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2 responses

24 06 2009
red poncho bear

well, that’s just like your opinion. . . .man.

26 06 2009
red poncho bear

are you fucking kidding me? tweeting dude? oh my god. it’s the end of the world as we know it. . .and i don’t feel fine. i feel like shit! which is how it should be.

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