Fate and Destiny, are they all just different terms of the same concept? Do we live our lives by our own choices or are we simply being pushed onwards a certain path that we have no control over whatsoever? These are questions that I believe will haunt the human race until the end of days and still no answer will offer us some relief. People have tried the religious, philosophical and even scientific approaches, but to this day there has not been a final answer on how life really works. My intention now is not to find an answer, but rather to indulge in a more meditative side of these eternal questions.
I was quite intrigued by movies like "The Butterfly Effect", starring Ashton Kutcher and "Sliding Doors", starring Gwyneth Paltrow. They are based on the hypothetical example of Chaos Theory, the Butterfly Effect. That example, established by the late mathematician and meteorologist Edward Norton Lorenz, basically adopts the idea that a gentle flab of a butterfly's wings in one country could cause a hurricane to form in a completely different country. After watching these movies, I came to realize that the lives of the human beings are probably controlled by the Butterfly Effect, that whether Destiny or Fate are but some manifestations of how the Butterfly Effect works.
If you think that a small decision you would take, like having a quick sip of water before you leave your home instead of drinking it at work when you arrive, would not make a huge difference in your life; think again! You might avoid running into an old friend from high school who you actually did not like very much. You might even avoid being hit by a certain car with a drunk driver that happens to be passing by your building at the very moment you are drinking your water. Think of how your whole life could change when every action you make, no matter how small it might be, results in a situation or a state that will surely take you through its own path of consequence. I personally have had my whole life changed over another person's decision of taking a certain job. Had not she been the one to decide to take the job, another person would have taken the job and stayed there. Had not she later decided to leave the job, I would probably have taken a different job instead of replacing her. Had I not replaced her, I probably would not have met my husband. Had not I met my husband, I probably would not have had my child or maybe even have not got married by now.
What about Karma? It is known as the other word for “Poetic Justice”. Whatever good or bad deed you do, you will get it back eventually one way or another. What if Karma is all about the Butterfly Effect too? What if all those outcomes are but the results of your own actions and somehow they find their way back to you? If we take Hitler for example, we will find that his and his mighty army’s tragic ends are but the poetic justice for his deeds. It was definitely Karma, but was it the Butterfly Effect? Well, was not it his mischievous ambition that blinded him from grasping the true power of his army facing Russia’s cold winter? The big picture has “Karma” written all over it, but when we dig deeply into it we somehow see how his greed brought about his own downfall. I believe that the Butterfly Effect has quite some control over Karma, although we just do not always get to see it.
Maybe our lives as human beings are not fully controlled by Destiny or Fate. Maybe our fate is, to a great extent, controlled by our own actions and behavior. Maybe our destiny is but the result of our accumulated decisions. It does not matter then whether we choose our own paths or we are being driven into these paths. We have to bear in mind that every single decision we take or action we do must have its effect on our lives and therefore, we have to think really carefully before any step we make forward so that it will not cause us to take two steps backwards.