Fatalism has two definitions:
- The attitude of resignation in the face of inevitable future events, such as climate change, which could also be called the feeling you get when you watch, read, or listen to the news.
- The philosophical idea that we are 'powerless to do anything other than what we actually do.'
The first definition can have a range of impacts on mental health - enough so that one of the top media sites for health information wrote about it. The second, and perhaps the more constructive definition puts the emphasis on our locus of control.
With this in mind, consider the idea that the 'ultimate hidden truth of the world, is that it is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently,' as anthropologist David Graeber wrote in The Utopia of Rules.
If we are powerless to do anything other than 'what we actually do', then the upper limit of what we can do lies in our beliefs. If we believe the world is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently, then we have the architecture of hope.
The 'we' here is the collective we, or society at large. It refers to a collective future, to which each person can make their own individual contribution, given their circumstances.
If you've finished this article feeling like, ok, cool, I get it, but what should I do? Then read this.