It is an age old question which has stumped many. Do we have free will or are we held to the ransom of a greater force? Whether it be fate, karma, destiny or kismet, the reason why so many people have difficulty reaching a conclusion, is because they think it’s one or the other. The truth as I see it is that it doesn’t actually matter.
People are so determined to find a one dimensional and digestible answer but the difference lies in our perception of free will, karma and other important philosophies.
I don’t see it as my job in life to answer the question, I see it to be lived as if nothing is set in stone.
I live my life as if I have free will but I understand and accept that events arrive to me often without me having any say in them. My job is to choose how to respond to them. The source of those events really don’t concern me. What concerns me is how I use my power of free will in that moment to override my reaction.
The trouble with fate or karma is that it often leaves people with a feeling of helplessness. I’ve heard people say that they are destined to be broke and to be a loser. Are you someone who thinks like that or do you know of anyone that does?
If you are, then through the power of choice, you are setting the outcome of your future events more so through your attitude than some predestined power.
Here’s a two step process by which I look at this whole debate in a way that makes sense to me:
1. Fate / Destiny – All events are fated in some way.
That could be a short term fate relating to decisions recently made or through some higher power and unseen force like karma. I don’t have control over the events.
2. Free Will – I have absolute free will and power over the way I choose to respond to those events.
At all times I have the power right now to decide how I think. I can choose to be grateful and cultivate the attitude of a decision maker.
There are also people who think that God has a plan for them. I don’t buy into that. Yes I do believe in a higher power. I believe the greatest gift bestowed to me by that higher power is the gift of volition.
I don’t believe we are accidental beings. We were meant to live life on purpose. I have the gift of free will in a universe where fate and destiny exist.