March 14, 2008

Choices vs. Destiny

Paul Auster, in an online Q&A chat at the WaPo in 2003:
I don't believe in the idea of fate. I don't believe that our destinies are mapped out in advance. We create our lives every day, and they're constantly shifting, and each one of us, I think, has the potential to live many, many different lives. And circumstances, coincidence, accidents and choice and desire and will all play their part in the paths we take. But I don't believe that these paths are preordained. Life would be terrible if we thought that were true.
Indeed! It is the choices we make that ordain what paths our lives take. To deem something as fate or destiny takes away the power of choice and free will.


Solitaire said...

There are millions of Indians who believe in fate and destiny and their lives are NOT terrible because they think that way.

Sanjeev said...

Agreed...terrible was perhaps an over-statement.

But do you agree (don't have to!) that such an attitude oftentimes limits us in what we can do. Those that fall back on destiny/fate can often in the face of life's trials give up...considering it as writ. However, a belief that one can change the situation through one's choices may provide the confidence to fight back -- take us through different way of thinking, a different set of choices, and a different path for life.

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