Monday, January 13, 2014

Do you believe in destiny?

          One of the discussions that Cara and I had on our trip was about destiny. Is there some greater force or being that controls part of the outcome of our lives? Part of me wants to believe in destiny, for there exist moments in life that could not have happened only by coincidence. You know those times when everything seems to just work out... you find yourself in just the right place at the right time. And if only one little thing would have been different, if you had made one different decision, then you wouldn't have met that one person, or you wouldn't have that moment of complete joy. Or even bigger than just moments, there seems to be a dream inside you that keeps growing and the experiences you have and the choices you make all seem to correspond with this one dream, this destiny.
          It is a nice thought to believe that there is something larger in the world, something pulling you along. However, as nice as this sounds and as much as I would like to believe in the idea of destiny, I get stuck when I hear of bad things happening. I cannot believe that it is some people's destiny to just experience pain and hardship. That doesn't seem fair or right. I am believer in humankind and equality for all, so the idea of destiny does not make sense when you hear of war or extreme poverty. It just doesn't add up when parents of young children die in a car crash. How can this be part of some larger plan? (These are some of the same questions I ask about God.)
         But then another thought occurred. What if I acted like I believed in destiny? I read His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman over break and got caught up in the idea of having a great destiny. In the books, many prophesies are made about the main character, Lyra, and that she is destined to save the universe. However, she does not know this and if others do not help her out, it will not occur. The choices she makes are still important, but they all lead to her greater destiny. This also relates to Harry Potter (as does most things in life). Many argue that it is Harry's destiny to defeat Voldemort and even a prophesy seems to suggest this. However, as Dumbledore reminds Harry, it is his choices that make him who he is. And that he would have tried to defeat Voldemort even if a prophesy had never been made.
          So we see that destiny seems to be mixed up with our choices and external circumstances. Harry had no choice when his parents died and had no choice when it came to a prophesy being made. But he chose to try to defeat Voldemort (and I will mention here that he did so by using nonviolence... but that is for another blog post). And so what if I believed that I too have some great destiny? How would I live my life if I believed that I am the one to change the world? I am the one to bring world peace? I don't want to sound arrogant, because that is not what I am trying to express. What I want to express, is how would I be different? What choices would I make, knowing that my destiny depended on them? How much time would I stop wasting, knowing that if I am to fulfill this destiny, I must learn as much as I can and be as brave as possible? And how would I treat others, knowing that my destiny might be linked up with theirs? Every person I meet might have something to teach me that will lead to greater things. And it is not just me that has a great destiny, but everyone! And part of my destiny is that I help others reach theirs.
          Now this might just be like yet another way to "live life to the fullest," and "live every moment as if it matters. However, I am intrigued by this thought of living into my destiny. Even if I am unsure if destiny is a real thing, I am making a new year's resolution to live as if I do. I want to view every moment, every choice as part of some greater plan. I want to treat everyone I meet as the most special person in the world because somehow their life has become entwined with mine. I want to believe that there is a purpose behind every interaction and every experience and it is all leading to some greater dream. I want to believe in destiny.
          So what about you... Do you believe in destiny? 

1 comment:

  1. I personally believe that the "fulfilling destiny" as it is described in the books and movies is really taking place only there - in books and movies. Real life is "a little" different in that sense. There are no brave heroes or heroines that will save the day, because it just isn't possible. However, it doesn't have to be. Hero's saving the day in books and movies is just a representation of the basic goodness in all of us, that is why it is so satisfying to see the good triumph over the evil. Deep inside, we all want that to happen, although sometimes we may not act like that, because we are scared, greedy or jealousy. However, there is a way, and it is happening all the time, to follow one's destiny, even though we may not be aware we are doing it. By trying to stay away from negative emotions like fear or jealousy, and by trying to always be nice to people. In other words, always try to act with love or sympathy for others. It is important to always remember that we don't know why someone did something and what we would do if we were in his/her shoes. So, be nice, treat people kindly and always try help those who might need your help, no matter how small or insignificant that help might seem. Sometimes, just a simple smile or kind word can have far greater impact than you can realize. I know from the personal experience, because I've been in situations in my life where people helped me immensely, although they didn't think they did anything big for me. But each of them had an impact on my life, and I always want to help others the way they helped me because I know what is it like to be in unfortunate situation, whether financial, physical or emotional. They helped me become a person I am today, and can you imagine greater impact than that? What i want to say is, if you keep treating everyone as very special person, you are fulfilling your destiny, because you touch their lives and believe me, you do leave a mark on them. And if someone starts treating others like you treated them, there is no greater influence on someone's own universe and through them, on the world as well. At least, that is what I think.