So, I saw this meme. I wish I had thought to save a picture of it, but it was something along the lines of, “Why are teenagers always the chosen ones? Why doesn’t fate choose someone who’s more mature and able to save the situation? I would love to see a show about a granny who was chosen to save the world, walking around with her magical cane.”
Here’s the thing. While I would love to see a granny kicking butt in a magical world, I don’t think it’s fair.
Hear me out.
Teenagers are great candidates for fate and destiny to select for greatness. They’re still figuring out where they fit in the world, who they are and what they want to achieve. So stepping in and telling a teenager that he is meant to save the world is really not that different from a kid sitting in bio class and discovering that she’s brilliant before going on to cure cancer. Teenagers are trying to discover their fate. Having magic or the universe change the course of the lives they have yet to plan is simple and convenient.
But let’s say, for argument’s sake, that we’ve decided high schoolers can no longer be chosen to save the world. It’s a violation of child labor laws or something, not allowed anymore.
Let’s move up the age bracket and say college kids are now the ones who need to be chosen to save us all.
Realistically, that’s just cruel. You’re going to walk up to a college student who’s sleep-deprived, stressed out of their minds studying, and malnourished from living off a steady diet of ramen noodles and tell them to put down the text book, fate is calling? If, and I think it’s a big if, you could convince the college student that she wasn’t hallucinating because of the hunger/fatigue combination, then you would be asking her to drop out of college! To give up all her hard work, all the tuition that you know won’t get refunded in order run around and most likely die trying to save a magical world. And if she fails, she’ll have to get back to school in time for finals and hope she passes. That’s cruel!
So let’s bump it up a level and let the poor chosen ones get their bachelor’s degrees. But now that they’re out of college, they have the horrible nemesis of student loan debt! Does being The Chosen One pay well? Would the student loan collectors accept saving mankind as a reason for deferred payment? Is there a box on your credit score for payment more than ninety days overdue due to great destiny? I don’t think so.
And after student loans comes marriage. Sorry Honey, got to cancel the wedding again. Evil is on its way, and I’ve got to grab my wand and run! Probably not going to fly to get a refund from the wedding venue or caterer.
Will your kids forgive you for missing their dance recitals while you’re off fighting a darkness that’s threatening to destroy magic? Will you lose visitation rights if you’re behind on child support because fate doesn’t pay well?
Then you have a mortgage to keep up with and braces to pay for. And if you finally make it all the way to retirement, wouldn’t it just be a cruel injustice to say, “Sorry you’ve spent the last fifty years saving so you could relax and avoid responsibility, but fate calls”? Let the poor retirees rest.
At the end of all that, the only ones who are left to be chosen are the young ones that life hasn’t roped into a world of responsibility and expectations. So the teens save the world, and we save ourselves. It’s the way of it. Don’t blame the authors for making fate choose the children. Let the teens revel in their extraordinary adventures. I’ll be living mine along with them.