I’m tired of hearing people going on about “destiny”. About how they were “meant” for something, and about how something was “meant” to be.
“Meant” by who or what? And when? And why? Is everyone and everything “meant” for something? Or is it only certain situations? Are the resulting actions thereof also “meant” for something? And the resulting consequences of those actions? Etc.
How many couples head over heels in love with each other would say they’re “meant” for each other? How many times have you heard someone say this about their current infatuation?
(Hell, maybe you’ve even been in a relationship like that.)
… And then a couple of years later they break up after months of deteriorating sex and bickering over mundane problems.
It seems it’s one of those sayings that doesn’t hold up to the simplest of scrutiny or logic. Try doing some basic, reasoned questioning the next time someone talks about someone being “meant” for something.
They’re not gonna be able to provide satisfactory answers.
Why do we still seem to entertain the notion that anyone or anything can somehow be “meant” for something?
While I don’t know, I’m fairly certain the answer has a couple of components to it…
- It’s one of those things that people say without giving it any thought. Such sayings permeate our language. (No one is being literal when they tell someone to “get bent”, either.)
- For thousands of years, our ancestors have believed in magic and the idea of an omnipotent creator of everything, often one who made a “divine plan” for us. — Simply because they didn’t know any better.
- It’s a deceitfully easy way of looking at the world. Because ultimately it supports the idea that we’re not in charge of our lives, and that we don’t have responsibility for our actions.
While there are interesting aspects to every point, we can potentially learn the most from the last one. Because it tells us about how we tend to shun responsibility in even the tiniest of ways.
“But that’s not what I meant at all!” No, of course not. But from a purely semantic standpoint, it’s actually pretty much what you’re getting at. Albeit unintentionally.
“But God gave us free will!” Sure. And Apollo could predict the future, and Thor had a magic hammer, and Noah was 950 years old when he died.
Look. If something is predestined for anything beyond the scope of human will and control, it is, by definition, not subject to human influence. However we act towards it becomes futile and meaningless.
All considerations about the source of “destiny” aside, if everything is “destiny”, it means we’re not in charge of our lives.
While I do believe that there’s no inherent meaning to anything other than what makes sense to the beholder at any given time, what truly empowers us is the very appointing of said meaning. Acknowledging that there is no meaning but what we appoint to things when we make a decision, take a stand and choose a path for ourselves.
And then, of course, we need to do it. We need to realize that there’s no sensible reason to believe that anything beyond our own, inherent human traits and nature somehow “destines” anyone for anything.
We need to realize that we have the ability to be proactive and creative in building our lives. That we can always overcome challenges, and that we need not settle for anything or take anything for granted.
And that very insight is true liberation.