The Gentle Way Book website by Tom T. Moore advocates that fate and destiny are similar. I agree. But how are they different? Mr. Moore, a New Age man, says fate is a dramatic event tied to your “soul contract.” Destiny is your course of life comprised of many events and your personal right to wander your own path.
The idea of destiny is more satisfactory to me than fate; fate is beyond my control. Drat! I tend to like control, as do most folks. Destiny is my freewill, my free spirit, my inner desires, my needs, my drive to make a mark on this great world, my potential and more importantly, my responsibility. Destiny is what I can achieve, despite being hit by the force of a fate or two!
So fate happens to us by being forced upon us, while destiny is our choice. Fate is a good thing when we come face to face with our beloved spouse-to-be. Fate is a bad thing, if we are on the Titanic and in the wrong place on this ship.
Is fate really predestined and unchangeable? Happy Science states that there are five influences on our destiny and on our fate. Hum? This garbles any clarity of fate as decreed and destiny as choice! Happy Science declares that our karma (soul tendencies), family environment, social environment and the influence of others as well as our own drive and discipline impact fate and destiny. They profess that our decisions create our turning points and impact our fate/destiny. The site also states that Buddhist philosophy explains karma as fate, and inescapable. But, and this but is a biggee, Happy Science goes on to share that when we take responsibility for our lives and continually strive to be better, we can change our fate. Perhaps they are referring to karma as our fate in our next life. I am so confused.
What does wikipedia say? The words fate and destiny tend to be interchangeable! Wikipedia does offer that fate is “predetermined and orders the course of events” and defines events that are unavoidable. Destiny is merely a probable future. Fate, no choice; destiny, we are involved in achieving an outcome willfully.
So, how does the dictionary define fate? Fate is a noun and defined as an event(s) that will “inevitably” happen in the future. That must be where the words “I deserved a better fate” stem from! The sinking of the Titanic was fate. Death is fate; we all must die. Fate shapes our lives and fate can change our best-laid plans. Destiny is marked by the inevitable fate forced upon a particular person and how their own actions may control their destiny despite the fateful event. We are responsible for our own destiny.
Quotes about Fate and Destiny: Destiny is “one’s cup of tea”, “it’s in the cards”, “it’s the kiss of death”, and becoming resigned to fate with “that’s the way the old ball bounces.” This cute one is from Disney’s movie Tangled: “Rapunzel: Something brought you here… fate… destiny…. Flynn Rider: A horse…” I like looking on the bright and funny side. Flynn Rider’s response works for me!
Fatalism. Not for me. I do not follow the idea that fate controls everything and we cannot change it. I am not a fatalist. I acknowledge that fate exists theoretically or devinely, but will choose to claim my destiny. Fate may push me; but destiny calls me!
Fate and Destiny are fuzzy in today’s world: Nowadays these two words are often used interchangeably rather than being a mixed, or package deal. I am beginning to feel like these words fall into a splitting-of-hairs argument. Why should I even bother to grasp these differences? I guess, because if the question caught my fancy, then finding an answer is part of my responsibility.
I can acknowledge that fate is “the preordained course of …life that will occur because of or in spite of [my] actions.” And that destiny is a “set of predetermined events within…life that [I] take an active course in shaping.” Fate, devinely designed; destiny, influenced by my actions or yours.
We all recognize and hopefully understand that we have no control over the weather, the color of our eyes (but not our hair), and our birthplaces and birthdates. Okay, that must be fate. We do have some power over our destiny and our destinations. I cherish the marvel of unending promises from free will.
I often tell my family and friends that the journey is part of the enjoyment. Fate may bestow certain wonderful or not-so-wonderful events on our journey through life, but each destination, or destiny, is well worth the trip!
Happy trails, to you.