Friday, March 6, 2009

Do you believe in Fate?

Well, I'm now at a cafe after walking about 5kms on foot and catching up with my girlfriend. I'm so knackered but I was killing 2 birds with one stone. I got to properly talk to her and exercise at the same time coz we were walking and talking.

We were talking about fate. Do you believe in fate? You know there's a book called What a Fortune Teller Told Me. I'm not done with it but its a really interesting premise for a book.

Basically, the author is a journalist and he was totally sceptical of anything supernatural and he also didn't believe in fate. He accompanied a friend of his to a fortune teller in Hong Kong and he decided to wait outside. He was not interested in meeting with her or having a reading.

photo by Jothi

However, the fortune teller wanted to see him! She requested for him to come in when she saw him lingering at the doorway. He didn't wanna be rude so he went in. What this woman said to him actually altered the course of his life. Just like that. It sounds like a cliché but in the case of this journalist, it's true how a single moment in time can transform a life forever.

She said to him that he almost lost his life the year before. He was a total cynic but this piece of information really scared him because it was quantifiable (since it already happened) and it was true. She then went on to say that he saved himself with a smile. At this point he got even more afraid of her because it was one thing to say he almost died and get the year right but this smiling fact was just too much. She was THAT accurate.

The year before, he was ambushed at gunpoint while covering a story in a war torn country. He was against the fence and they were going to kill him (I suppose they were soldiers) but before they fired their guns, he held out his hand and smiled at them (he was shaking like a leaf) and while still smiling, he showed them his passport to prove he wasn't the "enemy country" and they lowered their guns. He was still taken prisoner and held hostage but they held their fire when he "smiled" so his life was spared.

This fortune teller then tells him not to fly at all in a specific year in the future. "A whole year?" But his session with her had already ended (not that he ever intended to see her at all!)

Can you imagine the year in which she told him NOT to fly was 16 years away! But he never forgot the date (coz she must've really freaked him out) and as the years went by, this particular one just hung over his head, poor guy.

All his assignments as a journalist involved a lot of travel but he made a firm decision that he was not flying in the year she told him not to. He didn't wanna take the chance.

He decided to use every conceivable transport from the beginning of that year. He was seeing and writing about the world on foot, car, bike, train, you name it and he turned all the adventures of his travels into a book (which became a major bestseller). He saw the world from a different point of view.

This book made him so internationally successful as an author that it didn't matter what the old lady had said, right? She changed his life for the better anyway. But here's the thing.

A specific UN assignment he was meant to cover had to be passed up and given to someone else because it involved flying. Something went wrong on that operation and the helicopter crashed. There were no survivors. It could've been him.

How creepy is that? Makes you wonder doesn't it? How much of what happens to us is by chance or by design?

I would like to think that things happen for a reason yet we always have choices. So long as we have the power of choice, we have the power to make things happen or decide which way we would go.

Is there a rough blue print in place though? Some say our lives have a plan. We can choose to stick to the plan (if there was one) and just flow with what you're actually here to do.

What do YOU think? Do comment. I'm curious on how you see it. Do you or don't you believe in fate?

I'm still working out what I'm really, really supposed to be doing in my life though I'm enjoying it (life I mean, not the not knowing ;) Hey, maybe it's right under my nose! What if my purpose was to just keep writing to you as I type my thoughts out into cyberspace? :)


Anonymous said...

People prefer the idea of design because it gives them some sort of comfort to think that there could be more to this existence. When in fact all this could be down to pure chance, just stuff happening, cause and effect based on the choices we and others make in life. As humans we look for patterns in all this and join the dots to try and make some sense of it all, when in fact in all probability it's just life going about its normal mundane business.

Julia said...

Well, Jojo, I used to to be of the "things happen for a reason" mindset ... But then, I came to a life-altering event, or set of events rather, that made me realize, in hindsight, that it's never a good thing to read too deeply into things ... Anonymous up there said it pretty good ... Events are random happenings, it's how much meaning we want to put into them that matters in the end ... Anyway, just checking out your blog ... Your friendly neighbourhood reporter ;) ...

mark said...

I wouldn't call it fate, but rather there is a plan for us all. Quite mysteriously we are often led there. Sometimes we don't see it, and veer off course. Sometimes we even fight it. But when we learn to accept our destiny, whatever it is, you will find peace, and truly live.

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