I read a lot of military history. For every war, there is a debate about whether the outcome could have been different. For every such debate, there are a bunch of professional historians that argue the outcome of the war was inevitable based upon initial conditions. It's like they can't think outside of the historiography. Initial conditions are important but for the most part choices direct outcomes. We call it a choice because the decision isn't predetermined.
|The officers quarters at Fort Loudoun State Park in Tennessee, 2012. This is a recreation of a colonial era fort, hence the red coat in the painting.|
If we consider a lifetime as a personal history, the same thing applies. Initial conditions are important, but outcomes are mostly a consequence of your choices. I will always believe that I could have done more with my life, but also recognize that I could have done worse. A few times I came close to disaster but somehow made it through.
Hiking tomorrow in the high country. It hasn't rained in weeks at my house and no sign of the monsoon yet. We could use some rain but at least we won't have to worry about lightning.