So hi world, I haven’t been writing a lot lately, which is kind of sad on my part, but I have been doing a lot of counterfactual thinking, which is basically a snobby way of saying that I’ve had the words “what if?” repeated in my mind an infinite number of times.
See I went back home this Summer, so naturally I saw a lot of familiar places and faces, which ironically is now somewhat familiar (for more on my thoughts on homecoming, see one of my previous posts). I promised myself I wouldn’t make such a big deal out of it, and I think I didn’t either. I enjoyed the comforts of home and savored the company of good people, leaving me more grateful of them than ever. But even so, I always feel like there’s an aura of melancholy about the act of looking back (or in my case, with the addition of actually going back), even when I’m not looking back to a particularly melancholic period in my past. Just the feeling of being surrounded by things from the past kind of makes me wonder what would’ve happened if I had done something different. Where would I be? What would I do? How would I feel? What would’ve happened? How would the people around me feel? I think the possibilities are too many to count, and the emotions associated with each possibility are too overwhelming to be thought of at the same time. I think we humans are not programmed to look back, cause looking back makes us realize how helpless we are in this world, how there is absolutely nothing we can do to change anything.
You see, I believe in destiny, and not because I’m some lazy-ass dumbo who is just gonna wait for things to happen to me instead of making them happen. I believe that we humans have the capacity and freedom to make things happen, to some extent. However, I also believe that the timing and the nature of what actually happens is not for us to decide. I believe that we are just pieces of a bigger puzzle, waiting to be moved and put in the right place. We are just bugs trapped in amber.
I think this point of view is a rather ambivalent one. On one hand, if we humans are to choose our own fate (and not believe in a collective destiny), what would happen if we made the wrong choice? What if our decision to eat at a Thai restaurant instead of an Indian one could lead to World War 3? (Okay that’s kind of a long shot, but hey, it could happen). I think the pressure would be too much that way. On the other hand, it’s also a rather sad point of view. If we do decide to believe in a collective destiny, then we are voluntarily choosing to believe that we are just pieces in one big chess game, waiting for the next move, and getting ready for the inevitable fate that is the end. What a sad and tragic truth, don’t you think?
So in my train of thought, I mulled over the implications of my point of view. By that logic then, we are also setting God (or the Higher Power or what have you) up to be both a protagonist and an antagonist, depending on what happens to all beings in the finish line. The thing is, we can’t know until that time comes. We can’t know whether all our lives are a means to what kind of end: a horrendous genocide or a peaceful withdrawal of all armed forces in places of conflict. To me this is kind of like living life with mixed feelings about a Higher Power yet still leaving oneself at His mercy. I guess in the mean time, all we can do is just sigh, take a deep breath and live, while hoping that in the fullness of time our existence will be a part of something beautiful. Maybe - just maybe - that’s what the Almighty wanted for human beings to do all along. Alas, I guess we’ll just have to see.
image source: “You Are Here” by Sammy Slabbinck