“It just wasn’t meant to be,” someone says of their failure to get into college, or in the wake of a heart-wrenching break-up. “I’m supposed to be here,” proclaims another, with still others explaining with confidence that they were “made” to do this or that. There is a reason for all of this, of course. It was fate. It is destiny. It was inevitable, and it was all part of a plan, even if it is one we don’t understand and perhaps do not even have the capacity to comprehend.
Be it utilized as a mechanistic spin on a notion of a divine plan or a romantic spin on materialistic determinism, this liberty-negating notion that things have to be a certain way and so will be strikes me as inherently empty inside. Evidently it does not strike so many others in this way, however. Generally people appear to derive comfort from the notion of fate or destiny, of some authority figure on the mighty throne of the cosmos calling the shots, providing moral structure held in place by extreme and eternal threats and promises. Still, this bad-ass, psychopathic creator casts his invisible hand in our lives from time to time to test the faithful and listen to their prayers. He is responsible for saving your life in that accident in which you “should have” died though conveniently never to blame for having put your life in jeopardy in the first place.
I am blown away that this insane notion is still embraced by so many people. You failing to die despite the odds stacked in the Reaper’s favor — at least as you calculate them, to highlight a vital distinction — does not have any cosmic significance. Can’t you just recognize that you merely managed to dodge the bullet? That your doctors, state of mind, social connections and lifestyle lead to you overcoming the cancer? That this was borne of your individual effort, intelligence, skill with some incidental assistance from chance? Can you please cease crediting your invisible and largely negligent spacetime-creating sky god with everything when if he actually existed he would clearly constitute the earthen organisms’ equivalent to a deadbeat dad?
Take credit for your own accomplishments, admit fault when and where its due. Take personal responsibility for your actions and earn some self-respect. Also important, perhaps even more important, ask yourself a question. What makes you so damned special that the creator of the fucking universe would set aside time to listen to your relatively petty bullshit, or save your particular ass from death or disaster, all while leaving so many other lives in ruins, so many other people six feet beneath the surface of the earth?
Yes, there is always a reason. I also operate on the premise, leading me to the attitude that given the right context, anything makes sense. The reason is not necessarily an answer as to the why of the matter, however, which is to say the intention or deliberate purpose behind the matter, as no why may exist. Instead, the reason may only add up to the cold, lifeless, stone innards of what began as an empty, hollow how. Be it pot of gold or pile of shit, it may just have been luck — no self-masturbatory strings attached for the ego to erect itself under the guise of greater, cosmic hands and jettison meaning.