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I’m Fate’s Bitch

So are you.

We think that we’re in control of our lives, but we’re not.

We absolutely should do our best and work hard. But we should also realize that what happens to us depends on all kinds of things outside of our control.

What got me thinking about it was a New York Times column yesterday in which the writer quoted the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes:

The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

Sometimes, we don’t appreciate how lucky we are.

Yes, the United States needs to improve in a lot of ways. Still, we live in a wealthy country, with freedom and opportunities. The most fortunate among us (including almost all college students) have access to education, adequate food, recreational activities, and medical care. We have never been deprived of anything truly important.

I work hard at my studies, and so do most of my friends. But if we had been born in an undeveloped country where the per capita income was $1 a month, our hard work wouldn’t get us nearly as far. The same would apply if we had been born as “crack babies” sick with AIDS. The difference between those lives and ours is the good fortune with which we have been blessed.

I am not a better person than people with less opportunity: I’m just luckier. And it’s good for all of us to remember that about ourselves.

We are all in this together, and we shouldn’t turn away from helping those who need it.


Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.

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  1. David
    April 8, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Yeah, we’re not in control, and we can’t possibly have it all here on earth. Besides, when we die, it all stays here while we, hopefully, go to meet the just Judge.

  2. Rinth de Shadley
    April 8, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Hi, David —

    Thanks. Very true!

    I don’t plan to die for quite a while. Of course, I’m not really in control of that. πŸ™‚

  3. April 10, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

    Interesting post…you’re a convicting writer! πŸ™‚ Being a follower of Christ, I do believe that things happen for a reason and God is in control of our lives. Although some things are out of our hands, I do think that we can make choices that alter our futures for good or bad. God has revealed a lot of truth about fate to me over the past few years. He is so good, that He loves us unconditionally and wants us to have joyful lives. Enjoyed browsing your blog! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    • Rinth de Shadley
      April 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      Hi Cait!

      Thank you for the nice comment. As a Catholic, I agree with you that God is in charge. But it sure can seem random to us sometimes — at least to me, anyway. πŸ™‚

      Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. April 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    That’s so true… “there but for the grace of God” etc. We are very, very lucky.

    • Rinth de Shadley
      April 11, 2010 at 10:31 am

      Hi Rachel πŸ™‚

      Thanks for coming by! We are lucky. I don’t always appreciate it as much as I should, but it helps to have friends remind me. πŸ™‚

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