Day 1: Select the last line from a book chosen at random.
I select my “last line” from Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
“Then the prophecies of the old songs have turned out to be true, after a fashion!” said Bilbo.
“Of course!” said Gandalf. “And why should not they prove true? Surely you don’t disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don’t really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!”
“Thank goodness!” said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar.
Recently my thoughts linger on a sentiment similar to Gandalf’s. Destiny, fate, a plan, a purpose – I ask, how can they exist or how do they exist? Especially since human lives are so deeply connected, I want to know… how can a cohesive birds-eye view of human fate exist along with the fate of an individual’s life?
If fate or destiny, or whatever, does guide our lives, our experience with this power is through the actions of the people around us. I am a small part of many people’s experiences.
So each decision I make, no matter how tiny, affects everyone else.
I surprise myself.
Before, as I thought about the effect of personal choices on humanity as a whole, the complexity would have proven to me the nonexistence of fate. But, like Gandalf tells Bilbo, all our “adventures and escapes” are not “luck.” I no longer think life is so random.
My path is interwoven with the paths of others – either for symbiotic benefit or parasitic abuse (fate seems entirely amoral).
My successes are not for my “sole benefit.” My personal achievement is not the realm of fate. Fate is macro. It is the relationship of small choices to a larger whole.
Fate adapts with each decision. It does not bind or predetermine. It connects each individual to each other, placing them in the larger picture.
My personal life may not have a destiny. But I am contributing to a greater destiny.
Tiny does not mean insignificant. Also, I am aware of my smallness and my need for humility. I am only a little woman in a “wide world after all.”
It is not all up to me.
Source: Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit.