Destiny, kismet, fate

As I watch Kismat Konnection at home this rainy Monday morning, I can’t help but wonder what makes us go the “kismet” route. As a kid I was always encouraged to give my best to whatever I did so that my accomplishments were as real as my hard work. Growing up, my parents and teachers taught me to have faith in myself, nurture my strengths, recognize my weaknesses, and trust my abilities. There wasn’t any talk of a pre-determined set of events that ruled my life … as far as I was concerned there was a direct correlation between action and (an equal and opposite) reaction.

But somewhere along the line, I started hearing “good luck” before exams, began to notice the lucky charms — rings and amulets — that other kids sported, and realized that my grandparents’ reference to someone’s “kismet” was simply an acknowledgment of resignation to one’s fate. If a girl was born in someone’s house, it was their bad luck. If someone incurred losses in business, it was their cruel destiny. Human intervention had nothing to do with it. No matter what one did, the outcome was predetermined. My understanding of it was rather simplistic: whether things went well or went wrong, you could just praise/blame destiny accordingly. Easy, eh? Just like that one can be absolved of all responsibilities.

The way I see it, when we don’t have enough confidence in our abilities, we hope luck will favor us. When we can’t explain a sequence of events in a logical, rational manner, we say it’s destiny. When we want to comfort ourselves, we say it’s fate that things didn’t work out. Perhaps, all of these terms are simply inventions of a creative mind that allow us to take the burden off of our shoulders and make it a little easier to give up. Perhaps, not.

What do you think about kismet? Do you believe in destiny, luck, fate, or whatever you want to call it? Why or why not?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Destiny, kismet, fate

  1. >> wonder what makes us go the “kismet” route.

    I think I can guess why you wonder, because it is not a natural truth. The natural truth is that we take a route and then everybody, who wants to, calls it a “kismet” route. We do all the effort or not do anything, but all of sudden people dedicate that to Mr. Luck rather than ourselves. Human interventions have everything to do with it as nothing else can contribute to it. I know some people will still say, what about being at the right place at right time, is not that being lucky. Maybe it is due the dynamics of human network and surely not because it was suppose to happen. In a human network, nothing is suppose to happen and everything is suppose to happen but whatever happens is only due to human actions. Just like a stock market, you cannot tell the stock price for tomorrow. Stock price has its own dynamics and it evolves according to that, whatever price it will be the next day, that price will be a function of this dynamics and not any destiny.

    Tailpiece:

    Katsumoto: You believe a man can change his destiny?
    Algren: I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed.

    From movie “The Last Samurai (2003)”

    PS:
    There does exist a different usage of “fate”, much in line of usage of “faith”, to play games with our mind to bring it out of the worst of times, as in a consolation, and sail through the toughest of situations, as in a prayer.

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