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.