Fate/Personal Choices: What is most effective?

Yasmin Sustaita, MVC writer

Throughout life, people often make decisions that can alter their course of life, whether they impact it exponentially or even just in a small manner. When it comes down to it, though, the question remains: what is it that actually affects the way that a life is lived?

Some people believe that fate is what builds and creates their path throughout life. They believe that their life has already been set out for them and that their decisions about the path their life will take have already been created.

However, others, whilst believing in fate, also believe it’s possible to “change” their fate. Yet, one problem with this is, fate is defined by the dictionary as “the development of events beyond a person’s control, regarded as determined by supernatural power.” So, with this in mind, if they are “changing fate,” then fate has no hand at all in the course of their life. It is a personal choice, which is what changed fate, and the path of their life.

I believe that personal choice is what determines the course peoples’ life take. With any choice people make, they are responsible for the consequences that follow and may affect their life, no matter how small or big. 

People have done research to try and figure out whether or not they actually have any choice at all in what they may choose to do. For example, on New Scientist, Anil Ananthaswamy writes about Benjamin Libet’s experiments that showed that people have a couple of seconds where their consciousness awakens before they make a decision. With this in mind, people are not completely oblivious to the actions they are performing. Nothing besides how they feel or view something can affect how or what people choose to do; their actions are their own and are their own responsibility. 

However, also found in Libet’s experiment, people that are more impulsive tend to have a shorter time between when they actually come up with the idea and the actual performance of said idea. Yet again, though, people still are making their own decisions; nothing is changing their choices besides the time they have to stop themselves and rethink the choice they are about to make. 


An example of personal choice affecting the path a person’s life can take and not fate can be clearly seen in one well known work: “Romeo and Juliet,by William Shakespeare. In “Romeo and Juliet, the two main characters make really rash and irrational decisions, the most notable being their deaths.

 Romeo’s death is a good example of personal choice affecting the path of other people’s lives. Romeo is too quick and full of grief over Juliet being “dead” to actually notice the obvious clues stating that she is in fact alive and soon to arise again. This is seen in the work when Romeo says, “Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks, and death’s pale flag is not advanced there,” (Act 5. Scene 3. 95-96.) In this scene, Romeo describes her features that he believes are because Juliet is so beautiful, while in reality it is her blood beginning to move like it used to before she “died.” 

However, if Romeo had been less impatient, he may have watched her wake up, and they both would have been able to escape with Friar Lawrence. Instead, he acted too quickly; nothing led him to make the rash decisions he made besides his lack of double checking that his assumptions were true.

I believe that people’s choices are not controlled or decided by fate, but by what it is people take in regarding prior knowledge or newfound knowledge. Knowledge has the potential to alter a future choice one is about to make, and many people will find that a choice they made in the past could have been avoided if they had put more time into thinking how their actions would play out.