Friday, 2 March 2012

If

"If" is not the shortest word in the English language but it is certainly one of the shortest. And yet it covers so very much.

If my father, when he left the Navy, had taken the job in Bath or Truro instead of the one in Brighton...

If I had applied to work at one of the other banks instead of the one I did apply to...

If I had been sent to a different branch of the bank...

Right through our lives we are making choices - or others are making choices - which affect the rest of our lives, and we make those choices almost blindly, thinking of the immediate, short-term effects perhaps but without a thought to what the decision might mean ten, twenty, fifty years down the line. Of course, there is no way we can see that far into the future so there is little point wondering what effect a decision will have on our old age when what we are deciding is whether to take this job or that.

BUT:
If my father had taken the job in Truro, or
if I had not applied to the bank I did,

I would never have met the woman to whom I have been happily married for so many years;
my children would not have been born or would be completely different people.

If...

So was it pre-ordained that I should meet my wife or was it simply chance, the unrelated result of several unrelated decisions made by several different people? Are our lives mapped out without us seeing the map, or are they simply the results of random decision, calling heads or tails on the toss of a coin?

2 comments:

Stephen Hayes said...

Forrest Gump answered this question best: Maybe it's a little of both.

Buck said...

The cynic in me sez life is almost totally random. But the romantic in me likes to believe SOME things were meant to be.