Monday, January 25, 2010

Focus on Variables, not Constants, to Shape an Uncertain Destiny - Inspired by LOST

"...can't change the past. Can't do it. Whatever happened, happened.
We're the variables. People. We think. We reason. We make choices. We have free will. We can change our destiny."

- Daniel Faraday (LOST s05ep14, The Variable)


I begin today's post by proudly confessing that I'm a Lostie (an ardent fan of the TV Series LOST). In fact, this entire blog was inspired by LOST. Specifically, Matthew Abaddon's challenge that John Locke go on a walkabout - a journey of self discovery. All this happened in Season 4 episode 11 [Cabin Fever]. Read The Walkabout's first post here.

LOST is a very compelling drama which has won awards and kept fans all over the world watching, thinking and discussing the show's rich content. Depending on how you look at it, there is quite a lot to learn from LOST.

This week on The Walkabout, we shall feature posts directly inspired by LOST, as we await the highly anticipated LOST Season 6 premier on February 2, 2009.

The Variable

Our lead quote is from the LOST season 5 episode 14 episode, The Variable. This episode focuses on Daniel Faraday's quest to avert a catastrophic event on the Island. Knowing that a release of massive energy at the Swan Station would trigger the events that would ultimately lead to the disappearance of Flight 815, Daniel decides to prevent this from happening by detonating a hydrogen bomb.

Minutes before Faraday died, he tells Jack Shepherd the following:
Daniel Faraday: But... we can change that. I studied relativistic physics my entire life. One thing emerged over and over ...can't change the past. Can't do it. Whatever happened, happened. All right? But then I finally realized... I had been spending so much time focused on the constants, I forgot about the variables. Do you know what the variables in these equations are, Jack?
Jack Shepherd: No.
Faraday: Us. We're the variables. People. We think. We reason. We make choices. We have free will. We can change our destiny.

The above dialogue is in the following video:

It should be noted that before going to the island, Daniel Faraday suffered severe psychological problems. In fact, he had lost his mental acuity and lived with a caretaker.

Shaping an Uncertain Destiny

Admittedly, we cannot alter the past. What is in the past has already happened, and therefore cannot change.

Just like Daniel Faraday, we spend too much time in our lives focusing on and trying to change "constants" - things that are bound to remain the same.

It is instructive that we change that which we can and ought to, only then can we realize our objectives and realize our goals.

We do have the free will to make decisions that will ultimately shape our destiny. Now is the time to do the needful.


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