15 Quotes from literature that teach us the truth about fate and destiny.
1. Destiny, I feel, is also a relationship—a play between divine grace and willful self-effort. Half of it you have no control over; half of it is absolutely in your hands, and your actions will show measurable consequence. Man is neither entirely a puppet of the gods, nor is he entirely the captain of his own destiny; he’s a little of both. We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses—one foot is on the horse called “fate,” the other on the horse called “free will.” And the question you have to ask every day is—which horse is which? Which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it’s not under my control, and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort?
―Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
2. “Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”
― Marissa Meyer, Cress
3. “Sometimes you imagine that everything could have been different for you, that if only you had gone right one day when you chose to go left, you would be living a life you could never have anticipated. But at other times you think there was no other way forward–that you were always bound to end up exactly where you have.”
― Kevin Brockmeier, The View from the Seventh Layer
4. “I believe in love at first sight. Fate, the universe, all of it. But not how you’re thinking. I don’t mean it in the ‘our souls were split and you’re my other half forever and ever’ sort of way. I just think you’re mean to meet some people. I think the universe nudges them into your path. Even on random Monday afternoons in July. Even at the post office.”
― Becky Albertalli, What If It’s Us
6. “Whether or not belive in Fate comes down to one thing: who you blame when something goes wrong. Do you think it’s your fault – that if you’d tried better, worked harder, it wouldn’t have happened? Or do you just chalk it up to circumstance?
I know people who’ll hear about the people who died, and will say that it was God’s will. I know people who’ll say it was bad luck. And then there’s my personal favorite: They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
― Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes
8. “You want to know what I believe? I believe in fate, but I also believe in free will. Meaning, there’s a path, but we’re free to veer away from it. The only problem is that there’s no way to know whose path we’re following on any given moment. Our own? Our fate’s? Other people are on their on paths, too. What happens when we intersect? What happens when someone else wipes our path clean, and we’re left with no road to follow? Is that fate? Is that when free will kicks in? Is the path there, but invisible?
Who the hell knows?”
― Brigid Kemmerer, Letters to the Lost
10. “Fate doesn’t guarantee us a happy ending. We’re not promised to be together no matter what. But in dimension after dimension, world after world, fate gives us a chance. Our destiny isn’t some kind of mystical prophecy. Our destiny is what we do with that chance.”
― Claudia Gray, A Million Worlds with You
11. “We are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards the fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.”
― Brigid Kemmerer, A Curse So Dark and Lonely
14. “I’m pretty sure I’d have fallen in love with you even entirely without magic, I mean, look at you!” he said, taking me into his arms….“In the end, it doesn’t matter to me.” He stroked my cheek with his fingers. “Whether fate contributed a part or not, I thank providence for leading you to me.”
– Sarah Kleck, The Concealed
15. “I do believe in fate, Anne-not the blind fate that gives one no freedom of choice, but a fate that sets down a pattern for each of our lives and gives us choices, numerous choices, by which to find that pattern and be happy.”
― Mary Balogh, Simply Love