“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/ But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
Cassius in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
John Green made this quasi famous Shakespeare quote famous again to an entirely new generation.
John Green made an entirely new generation start thinking philosophically about fate … and how you deal with it.
I have written about fate and destiny before.
Personally I don’t think much about it. Mostly because … well … I kind of figure if there is such a thing as fate it is completely out of my hands <it is in the stars> and I would be better off getting out and doing shit … my shit in particular, seizing fate by the throat as it were, rather than awaiting Fate to stop by and tell me, like an odd little waiter, what I should or shouldn’t do.
But … yeah … some things are written in the stars. Some things are out of your control and they happen … even if you do absolutely everything right in your Life <which is, practically speaking, almost impossible>.
In his book John Green used cancer as what as written in the stars.
I could most likely list a long list of various shit things many people are faced with that … well … they certainly had no desire facing.
But the point of the quote is how we respond to what the stars fate us with.
Our choice, or non choice, to do something in response.
Our choice, or non choice, to make the best of whatever it is we are faced with in life.
Our choice, or non choice, to say it is the fault of the stars or the fault of ourselves in where we go with whatever Fate has handed us.
Fate is a motherfucker the majority of the time.
A real bastard.
Why do I say that?
How often do we view Fate with a smile?
<not that often>
More often we view that sonuvabitch Fate with sadness and dismay.
More often we view that sonuvabitch Fate with a yearning to be able to better control circumstances.
And, on occasion, we ponder Fate as if we actually did something to deserve it.
We reflect & opine upon on our actions and suggest to ourselves “if only”, with regret, thinking that somehow & someway we could have mastered Fate and redirected it.
That somehow if we had acted differently Fate would have been different.
That somehow we could have rearranged the stars in the sky.
Fate is fate.
And Fate listens to no one but itself.
Sometimes fate is fate and you can’t do anything about it.
But here is what you can do.
Truly your own acts with regard to fate reside in how you respond not in how you can avoid.
Shakespeare certainly was pretty good about suggesting that your actions, and your decisions to become involved, can impact other’s Fate … and by not taking action you assume some ‘fault.’
And I buy that.
Fate is fate.
You can act and something good can happen … and something unintended bad can happen.
You can not act and something good can happen … and something unintended bad can happen.
Acts you take are rarely simple cause & effect.
Acts you take are also very difficult to find correlations with <note: cause and correlation are two very different things>.
I imagine some people reading the last few things I have written start thinking … well … Life sucks if you cannot be sure that anything you do is right or good.
While Fate may reside in the stars … ‘fault’ in Life resides within us.
Fate will be fate and will be there regardless of anything we do or don’t do.
Let Fate own the stars.
But … Life is ours to own.
And it is our fault if we do not own it.