Witnessing the idyll of late Spring in the afternoon Sun it is hard to fully grasp the crisis we are collectively in. I read about people dying, economic collapse and politicians abusing their power. In the distance looms climate change, perhaps our biggest challenge yet. Our fate is uncertain. It always is, but are we now forced to come to terms with that?
I am reminded of the concept of amor fati, or the love for our fate. This Stoic virtue was echoed by Friedrich Nietzsche in his book Ecce Homo. He identified amor fati as the principle source of human greatness, “that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it, but love it.”
Coming to terms with our fate can be terrifying, but to love our fate we do not passively subject ourselves to the cards we are dealt with in this life. To love our fate we have to actively accept the inevitable and somehow try to fit it in.
One who embraces amor fati accepts his circumstances unconditionally, with strength and an all-embracing gratitude. By loving our fate we can say yes to the whole of life in its terror and its beauty. We will never find the meaning behind our fate, but we can actively make it.