(off) chance

Benjamin Disraeli said, “A consistent soul believes in destiny, a capricious one in chance.” As I fumble my way towards the end of January, trying to establish the order that allows for violent creativity, I am simultaneously struck by the beauty of this statement and its inherent challenge. As Plutarch rightly puts it, “No man ever wetted clay and then left it, as if there would be bricks by chance and fortune.”

Patience may be a virtue but I agree with William Jennings Bryan that, “destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice: It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. I need to choose to do the things that have to get done everyday, because “it’s choice–not chance–that determines your destiny” (thank you, Jean Nidetch).

And when, on days like today, I find myself at the end of a week where not everything went according to plan I take a leaf from Theodore Isaac Rubin’s book: “I must learn to love the fool in me the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries.”

And I try and remember that today is not over and tomorrow’s mercies will be new.


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