How are we to respond when life is not as we wanted it to have been?
|Life is somewhat independent of how we'd want things to be. We can't choose a lot of things that matter in life.
We can't choose the type of face we'd have on our heads. We can't choose the type of family we'd live with in our childhood and adolescence. We can't choose what circumstances or scenarios will be thrown at us tomorrow. We can't even choose the evironment of friends we'd like to make.
Sometimes life can be very independent of how we'd want things to be and can be exceedingly unfair, harsh, bitter and cruel. This has probably made us feel very confused; flinging us into a deep sea of despair which almost drowned us, as we feel useless and weak in the face of the harshness of life in an absurd and indifferent universe.
Yet somehow deep inside in us, we knew this was not, in itself, the end of the world as we knew it. In life, we can only try, to the best of our abilities, to make things come to as close as possible to how we want them to be but no further than that; yet even then, the prospect of success or satisfaction remains yet ambiguous.
In essence, life is not a movie that promises the happily-ever-after ending, with all misunderstandings clarified, all apologies uttered and accepted, all acts of kindness appreciated and reciprocated, all sincere feelings returned by the subject of adoration et cetera. The ambiguity of the future coupled with the absence of a promising resolution may only lead to the eradication of hope, inviting despair in replacement.
Even if we were to achieve happiness, such would not be a perpetual bliss. Sooner or later, something comes and challenges to take it away; sometimes succeeding, sometimes not. As much as we'd like to fantasize our lives as such, reality will more often than not disappoint us. We are neither the sole director of our lives, nor are we the writer scripting the lines of those we encounter and scribbling the favoured scenarios that are to come. In this world, there are 7 billion others trying to write out their own scripts too, all unknowingly directly or indirectly interconnecting all of us together.
You can't help it if some inconsiderate bloke wishes to booze 'till he's zonked out and then choose to irresponsibly drive his car about in the streets and knock you down by unfortunate happenstance. You can't help it if someone chooses not to (or naturally does not) value, remember or even recognise the acts of favour or goodwill you ever did for that person when you invested your efforts to be his/her friend. You can't help it if some friend chooses to be the bastard and then back-stab you, deliberately discrediting all the good times of the friendship you ever shared with the person and discarding it away through his/her betrayal against you.
Summarily speaking, you simply cannot choose what will happen to you or how others will respond to you, no matter how hard you try to be the best, nicest and most responsible and proactive person you can be. One might argue about the principle and the power of choice. Sartre once said that "freedom is what you do to what's been done to you".
For the people who embrace the principle of practising personal responsibility, it has all got to do with choices and the propagation of our paths in our lives all boils down to just that. The existence of the various probabilities of the multiple different choices that we have in each situational dilemma or circumstance alone makes life somewhat unpredictable and uncertain, shrouding it with veils of obscurity, leaving us insecure of ourselves at times. Sometimes, the erratic nature of life catches us by surprise, for better or for worse, though it usually tends towards the latter more often that it does the former.
Yes, life can be a bit of a disappointment at times. Yet, if life is so much independent of our hopes, dreams, efforts and will, whilst we base our happiness on these things, what shall we do? Presumably, the best course of action would be to learn to be independent to whatever life throws at us.
To the independent, one would say that it is important for us to learn how to please ourselves and know ourselves and be happy with ourselves for who we are independent from others because we may not always be surrounded by friends who care. Yet knowing this, with the awareness of one's own personal scope of freedom, one must also acknowledge that such power that follows it is limited in nature.
After all, what are our choices mirrored after? Why, by behaviour to a high extent is it not? And what then, are our behaviours mirrored after? As far as we know, by the genetic traits which we had involutarily inherited from our parents and the personal experiences which we have encountered; the former being completely out of our circle of control and the latter not being much more either. What to conclude then? Why, that our lives have been, is presently and shall be governed by forces which we have little say about no?
For the religious, this is probably where they would turn to God for guidance and direction in their lives. After all if God, presuming His ominpotence and soverignty, does exist, then our predestination would be beyond our scope of control and as such, whatever choices we thought we had made was simply of an illusionary prerogative.