What difference does destiny make in your life?

It was destiny! Pete Seeger is one of my favorite singers and one of the most remarkable people in the world. The song from which the refrain “it was destiny” came was “Who Killed Davey Moore.” The story of a boxer who dies in the ring and no one will claim any responsibility. Pete shows us our own hypocrisy and cynicism as we all manage to sidestep any responsibility for the death of another human being. We can all walk away not feeling guilty and keep telling ourselves that these things just happen.

Don’t say ‘murder,’ don’t say ‘kill.’
It was destiny, it was God’s will.”

God just seems to work this way in the world. People die and it is destiny. Destiny implies that all of our life and hence all of our time is “predetermined.” Whatever happens is going to happen. We have no choice and no alternatives. Hence, it is destiny and we cannot be blamed for destiny, can we? To subscribe to this philosophy seems like the ultimate pessimism to me. I will never accept it. I will never believe that you and I cannot make a difference in the world. The evidence is irrefutable. Abundant examples exist of people who for better or worse have made a difference in the world. The world would be a much different place without the numerous courageous and sometimes cowardly people who have tread its dominions.

Today and tomorrow each of us has the power to make a difference that can substantially change the world for the better. When I kick the destiny excuse, I start taking responsibility for my time and for my life and for the rest of the world. There is no destiny other than a set of choices we make on how we will spend our life. We create our destiny by these choices. We create the destiny for the world we live in. This world reflects the millions of daily decisions made by you and me and our neighbors. What destiny will you create today? What choices will you make that can change the time of the world and your own time? Can you make those choices with a good heart and compassion for yourself and others?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Corny
    Jul 27, 2011 @ 13:48:06

    Another way of thinking of it comes from Sophocles, “Oedipus Rex.” Stuck in a horrible destiny, Oedipus still has choice in how he responds to the things that happen to him beyond his control.

    Reply

  2. NARAYAN
    Jul 27, 2011 @ 15:37:07

    You may be right about our freedom to choose our destiny , but history is full of examples where events beyond our control shaped the world.

    You mention “This world reflects the millions of daily decisions made by you and me and our neighbors.” What is unsaid is that the decisions made by others can impact on us , as much as our decisions can impact on others. To that extent we are not masters of our own destiny.

    Fatalism cannot be a way of life , but to assume that our life will play out according to a script of our writing is to arrogate to ourselves a power which really belongs to God.

    Reply

  3. John Persico
    Jul 28, 2011 @ 10:57:41

    Corny, thanks for the comments. Good point. Narayan, you are right. In the world, we have a yin and yang with destiny. Some we choose and some we do not. However, the only choice we can make is to choose and hope for the best. We have no control over what others do only what we CHOOSE to do. However, I agree it would be foolish to act like we are gods but I think it beats the other choice. John

    Reply

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