“Fate Will Take What Fate Will Have”- William Somerset Maugham

June 6, 2019


(Image source- https://www.wired.com/story/giving-open-source-projects-life-after-a-developers-death/)

People say there are only two finite things in this World- however, I believe there’s only one … DEATH.  Many of you may not agree but I do believe DEATH is the only certainty in the whole world.  Everything else is your destiny … and what you make of your life.

William Somerset Maugham’s last play, “Sheppey”, tells the story of Sheppey, an hairdresser, who believes he is a lucky man.  Maugham ends the play with an old Arabic Fable, where “DEATH” visits Sheppey; and in reply to Sheppey, tells the story of a merchant in Baghdad trying to escape death.  (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheppey_(play)).  Jeffrey Archer’s very first chapter, titled “Death Speaks” in his book “To Cut a Long Story Short”, requotes this very Fable.

Whatever our life and however good or evil we’ve lived it, in the end we just cannot escape the ONE certainty life has in store for us – our own DEATH.

We may be terminally sick, a building may fall on us, die in a war or an earthquake swallows us – nothing is by accident.  This was our fate, with the time and place written.

The only measure of comfort we may be able to get out of this certainty is how we die – the more violent, harder or painful may very well be a factor of how we lived our life.

So next time someone “good” dies – whether at a young or old age – I will try not to blame the so-called “cause” of the death or go in for a “blame game”; but look introspectively and try to reconcile that the person’s time had arrived.  Don’t blame yourself, nor the opposite person, nor the circumstances surrounding his death – this was meant to happen, at the time it happened and in the place it happened.

That’s all there is to it!


2 thoughts on ““Fate Will Take What Fate Will Have”- William Somerset Maugham

  1. Hello Dinshaw,
    Yes, death is an absolute certainty.
    A thought I found very interesting was that how we live our lives influences how we die.
    Of course, if we live by violence the probability of a violent death is high. But take President Trump. His policies directly cause the death of thousands and thousands but perhaps he has spent the day eating ice cream. How will his life affect his death?


    • Nice to connect with you again Elizabeth. My believe is that Only time will tell what is in fate for us and how we “go”. Our family has faced so many political problems over the years, all brought about by private interests. While we faced great hardships in those periods, what I have found is that many people, individually, responsible over these years have (and are now) suffering. Those who died, did so very unpleasantly – not a death I would wish on anyone, regardless of how much the person has worked against us. That’s why I sincerely believe that how we live influences how we die. The outcome will only be known later … maybe much later, but come it will !

      Liked by 1 person

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