the post i was destined to write
I was listening to a rather groovy interview with Mr China Miéville on the Bat Segundo show and he was talking about characters and destiny and how he always felt it was slightly suspicious as a child. Personally, as a child, I freaking loved the stuff. Because it gave me that hope that maybe, just maybe I might be destined for something too, something big and cool, and (hopefully) magical.
This may shock, but I was a bit of a geek.
Yeah, the use of the word "was" there wasn't completely truthful.
I would know like to openly state that destiny is a crock of shit. This is not just childhood disillusionment. I have made my peace with the fact that I am not destined to throw magical fireballs and save the world. It's something I live with...
Anyhoo... the reason I want to complain about it now, is that the idea of destiny totally robs individuals (be they fictional or real) of any sense of volitional control. It fosters a mindset in which the individual can do nothing to change events, because maybe they're not a chosen one. And if they are, well they are... they don't have to do anything to become that person. And that's a dangerous mindset.
So many stories show us that people can change, but once destiny is introduced then that message is undercut and completely devalued. It's a form of learned helplessness and it benefits no-one.
We make our own fates. We may make a mess of it, but we do it. Sure situations out of our control both hinder and help us. The capricious force of coincidence is rife in the world. There are 6 billion people all with their own agendas out in the world too. But these forces are not destined to be. It may feel like that, but giving into that mindset is just another way of giving up.
So yeah, no pre-destined paths in fantasy, basically. 'nuff said.