Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Tale of Fate

I heard an older man once describe my generation as dreamers. He insisted that somewhere in our public schooling the teachers and curriculums filled our heads with the idea that we could do anything. Some kids wanted to be doctors, some wanted to be astronauts, and a whole grip of them wanted to be president. Yet we know that most of our classmates in elementary and middle school became one of the regular masses of regular employees that we see around us today. No fancy cars, no beautiful wives or husband, no giant house, and no job that makes them eager to go to work everyday. Indeed, it could be said that we were induced into a fantasy land at a young age, and it is only by a rude awakening that we snap out of it.

My friend Jon and I regularly discuss the idea of growing up and joining the ‘real world’ with a mix of dread and disgust tainting our voices. We are old enough to realize that our dreams are not going to be as easy to achieve or even possible to achieve at all. We can see that some things are simply not in our cards, and that can be fairly disappointing. I have always had dreams of ruling the world, or at least influencing it. My role models were historical figures such as Genghis Khan, Martin Luther King, Ghandi and the like. These men had influence over others thoughts or actions, and I was naturally drawn to that idea. But then I got older and realized that there were some major differences between me and the aforementioned figures, and these differences would prevent me from leading lives like theirs. I would have to live my life. But where I was trying to go with this… whenever I said I wanted to rule the world to another person, they often would reply that they also wanted to rule the world. And when they did not want to rule the world, they wanted to do equally amazing things that would change the world. So talking with Jon one day, he told me how he and his advisor had one of these ‘life maturation’ talks, and his advisor said that he hit a depression in his late twenties and he had to take some time to get out of it. We talked about the possible causes of this depression, but I can only surmise that it was caused by the realization of who he was. He was _______ and that was all he was probably going to be, and that can be hard to some people.

This seems like I am trying to say that we are all going to hit depression when we realize our dreams may be hard to achieve, or that we should give up in our dreams, but I am really trying to promote the idea of peace. We should not cease to dream, but be at peace when we wake up, and be joyful if your dreams become reality. I have often in the past thought things such as ‘What do I need to do in order to be the ruler of the world’ or ‘Did I choose the wrong path about one decision or another’, but in the end, there is no wrong path. We were each made to be exactly who we are going to be. I may want to rule the world, and I might do that, but whether I reach my dream or fail, I have lived my life as it was meant to be lived. The easiest terms to use for this is fate or even destiny. But I am convinced that people try and define their own destiny. But that is not how it works, a destiny or fate is something beyond your control. It is written before you act it out, and cannot be altered.

I hear so many people stress about decisions in life, and about how to maximize their success in the eyes of others or in themselves. I just want people to realize that there is no failure. You accomplish exactly what was meant for you to accomplish in this life, and when you look back at it, you should be able to say you gave it your best. This does not mean to not strive to better ones self, because if you have the conviction to do something that you know is right, that conviction too was put there for a reason.

Should the poor feel disgusted with themselves because they are poor, should the rich feel proud because they are rich, the smart smug because they are smart, or the dumb embarrassed because they are dumb, the fat ashamed because they are fat, etc. I say no to all the above, you are what you are, and you should at least be content and at peace with the life you have lived. Those that have should realize that they are blessed (or even lucky if you wish) to have whatever gift they possess, and should not hold it as a trophy that deems one better than another. It should be carried as a tool with which to apply to all that you strive to do. I have heard so many times someone who is good at something attributing their success to themselves (author included) and it has always brought a feeling of anger towards that person. When someone says “I can solve this problem twice as fast as he can, he should really try harder,” that person is making some serious assumptions that they cannot back up. The truth of the matter is we are not all made with the same skill set. As much as a midget would like to be an Olympic sprinter, he will probably never be able to accomplish it. I will not say that it is impossible, but it is not in his cards to excel in that area. He could work 50 times harder than a natural sprinter and it would amount to nothing. Likewise, someone whose mind naturally lags in math comprehension should not feel belittled by the person who picks it up naturally and then demeans his classmates. This leaves a fine line between complacency and reality, but I think the false hope that has been inspired in our generation has gone to far. We have essentially grown up to believe that we can each be ANYTHING, and while it sounds nice, it is only a fairy tale. No one wants to be the garbage man growing up, but you can bet that someone will be.