Fate; the predisposition or predetermination of our life, or what some say is inevitability in or on our path. “It is what it is and you can’t change it Becky.”
I don’t buy it. Not completely anyway. I’m sorry if you do, but I just can’t; just like I don’t believe no matter what I do, I am going to step in that hot blob of grape bubble gum in the Ug-Lee’s Boudin parking lot. For reasons I won’t bore you with, I simply believe a whole lot of my life is in my own hands. If I put myself in harm’s way, why would I be surprised it that limb smacks me in the mouth?
Sure, that fellow in the bright yellow lifted Ford F-250 running a red light is a very real threat, but does that mean I can’t avoid it, or that no matter where I am, I will get t-boned by one of many distracted guys because fate would make me drive to a particular intersection?
Uh, no. No. Nope. However, when I am stopped by a train, or miss my turn-off, I have often thought it might just be the work of the Lord to keep me from harm’s way, so maybe I believe in fate more than I am willing to admit.
There is not a single day goes by that my macabre 6th sense of mortality doesn’t question me if this is THE day. I blame it on my years of “Do” training - the way of the warrior. You see, way back when, when I began learning how to defend myself, I began practicing a method to keep myself from harm’s way. “What? You didn’t train to stomp the innards out of people?” That is partially correct, but the truth is the path I chose was one of self-defense and in martial arts, this, to me, is the most honorable.
I won’t please many MMA followers when I say that I view mixed martial arts contests the same way I view cock and pit-bull fights and with the same lack of admiration. Mixed martial arts have turned martial arts training into a vulgar form of entertainment reminiscent of throwing Christians to the lions or gladiators hacking each other to death.
There is no “Do”; no way of the warrior. The Do of martial arts is a balance, a Yin-Yang of good and bad. Fighting and healing. If you know how to hurt someone, you MUST know how to heal them. Bruce Lee was and still is the consummate example of martial arts fighting, but there is so much more to the man, than the guy who does a flying side kick in the current commercial.
Bruce Lee was a calligrapher, had a keen knowledge of healing herbs, an expansive library of books…and was a champion ChaCha dancer. He had balance in his physical and spiritual training and skills everyone envied, but suddenly died by misadventure when he took medicine for a headache. Was it fate or an accident? I don’t know and I don’t care. He lived life to the fullest until something happened to end it.
I want to live like that and I’ll be danged if it is something stupid that I could have avoided ends it all and thus my method of self-preservation. It’s why I actually stop at a red light before turning right, or look both ways 3 times before entering an intersection. It may also be the reason I’ve never caused a car wreck. I don’t rubber neck because I don’t want to wreck.
I was actually the back seat passenger in a car one time where the driver was so caught up in his own story-telling and looking over the back of seat that he hit a kid on a bicycle. Of the 4 people in the car, I was the only one who saw the kid, who incidentally was bumped off the side of the road along with his bike and rolled to safety. We stopped of course, after the driver loudly questioned, “What was that?”
“It was a kid on a bike and you just hit him,” I loudly exclaimed and his wife, who was also in the front seat, but not watching the road, began to scream. “What should I do?” he cried out. “Turn around and lets go help him,” I commanded. In the driver’s defense, the kid had suddenly rode out into the lane, but he never saw the kid one way or the other. Was it fate or just distracted driving?
In today’s relaxed take on everything a whole lot of people blame fate for their own miserable consequences. Like one guy I know who got his 4th DWI and failed in his effort to buy off the judge (the first 3 times he was successful with $10,000). His response in front of us was this: “I don’t have a drinking problem, I am just unlucky. Everyone else is doing it and I get caught.” On any given day, his car looked like it had ran the Baja race.
Fate or bad luck or both? Yea, sure. I guess I do believe a little bit in fate, but in the meantime, I am going to continue on the path of my Do training to keep my body safe. Note, this column does not include my spiritual training and that is a whole ‘nother level deserving it’s own 900 words.