I’m not sure what I think about destiny. I skimmed the remarks that Barack Obama will make to students tomorrow, and the follow quote caught my eye:
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
Something about it hit me the wrong way, though I’m not exactly sure what. Perhaps the reminder of how staunchly individualistic our society is, and that with that individualism comes a subtlety of arrogance.
On some levels, it’s absolutely true that we have choices that determine our future path. And it’s important for kids to realize that they can overcome difficult circumstances through hard work and perseverance. But there’s also a whole lot that shapes and molds us that we are unable to escape. No matter how hard we try, there are factors and issues that write our destiny before we can pick up a pencil. No matter how hard we try, there are aspects of our future that are beyond our control.