I am a paramedic… And I think I believe in fate.
If you asked me a few years back, even a year ago, I’m sure I would have said that fate was all bollocks and that no one controls destiny. And yet, as time goes by I find I beginning to question that belief.
This post was inspired by my recent interest in motorcycles and the fact that I am now in the process of training for my bike license. My father hates bikes. ‘Organ donor machines’, I think that’s how he refers to them, are apparently a one way ticket to the grave. Now I haven’t researched any statistics to bolster my point I view, but I am in a unique position in that if anyone is going to come across a motorcycle accident, it’s going to be me. I see a few in my line of work and so I feel I have a fairly good idea of how accidents involving bikes occur, the likely injuries sustained and also, the likelihood of death occurring. Now, I can honestly say that I have been to far more accidents in which car drivers have sustained life changing injuries or died as opposed to bikers. Obviously there are far more cars on the road than bikes but I don’t think that is the definitive argument in this case. In fact, I am beginning to believe that fate has more to do with this than anything else.
There is a line from birth to death, you could simply think of as A to B, and for many people, of all ages I have been there when they reach B. Some meet their end in their sleep, completely unaware that their journey is over. Some will wake this morning, have their breakfast as normal, get dressed for work, and then maybe have a heart attack or a stroke. Or, perhaps they are in fantastic health. Maybe Mr Smith, who goes to the gym four times a week, eats healthily, and leads a relatively stress free life gets hit by an out of control car. Or, Mrs Jenkins, who unbeknownst to her, was not hit by an out of control car, or struck down by a heart attack. Instead she falls silently on a packed bus, and nothing anyone can do will save her. Her genetic makeup hides a ticking time bomb she could never have known about. Mr Smith’s autopsy report might record accidental death. Mrs Jenkins’ might read cause unknown.
I’ve seen people survive things that by rights should have killed them, just as often as I have seen people die when they should have survived. So what is that if not fate?
Science, statistics and all manor of medical jargon and research may dispute fate, but I guarantee that a good percentage of medical staff will, after witnessing a surprising patent death, mutter the words ‘maybe it was just his time.’ Sayings like that don’t come out of nowhere. They mean something. Perhaps they mean that we don’t understand enough to know what really happened, but I am really starting to think it’s far simpler than that – perhaps when your time is up, it’s up and nothing on earth will change that.
I don’t think for one second that everything is preordained. That would remove the element of choice from our lives and as we all know, if we didn’t have choice in our lives we would soon go crazy. No, this is what I think. I think, there is a line from A to B, from birth to death. I think some people’s line is longer than others for no other reason than it just is. Perhaps we all draw straws in the beginning. I also think that that line is not straight. Perhaps, the distance between A and B is already set – the duration of your life, but maybe you make your own journey there. To me, this makes sense. It explains why people for all walks of life can suddenly meet their end for no reason whatsoever. Except maybe there is a reason, and that is that they have reached their destination, the end of the line. The end of their line.
Who knows? I for one am keeping an open mind. What do you think?