Kit G. July 1, 1999
“Human boredom breeds lack of attention. In the moments when boredom keeps people from being fully aware, they have the tendency to dangle at the edge of unconsciousness. It is at these precarious times that fate supplants destiny.” Jamie Sams, Seneca Nation
I had never contemplated the intrinsic difference between fate and destiny until I read that passage from Jamie Sams. I have always used both words interchangeably, believing the definition of each to be the same. Although Webster defines each word as a “predetermined outcome,” upon further interpretation I found subtle differences which gave me a greater understanding of that elusive term “free will.”
Fate can be defined as the predetermined course of events that inevitably work themselves out, something that unavoidably happens, stressing the irrationality and impersonal character of events that may occur. The root word from Latin is fatum-fatal, implying no choice. In that context my life path is predetermined by a lack of attention to my choices. Therefore, fate can sneak up on me if I am not constantly aware of what the results will be of my thoughts, actions and behaviors. I am not using my “free will.” In most of my readings, I found the word fate was equated with the word doom.
Destiny, on the other hand, is defined as the ordained or intended course of events in which a person chooses to participate in the outcome through choice…”free will.” The root word from Latin being destinaire-taking a stand, making a choice. With that frame of reference, my life path is predetermined by attention to the choices I make.
Destiny, therefore, becomes the open-minded principle of the possibilities that are fashioned and directed through conscious choices. God given, innate gifts to be used which allow me to reach my full potential, to become that which God intended me to be. The “free will” to participate in my destiny by the path I choose to follow. And, in my readings, I found the word destiny was usually equated with the word fortune.
The free will of each individual determines how they may change, what they sense, and what the outcome might be if we lack the awareness that we do have choices. If I get complacent and comfortable where I am, I limit my possibilities and then find myself accepting life experiences as dictated by others or circumstance, which leaves me dissatisfied, creating low personal self-worth.
So, deep in thought, I ask myself, “ Do I choose fate or destiny?” I used to think my “fate” was sealed in the bottom of a vodka bottle. Today, however, my “destiny” is unlimited and open to the endless possibilities that God places before me.
On page 164, the Big Book tells me:
“Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.”
So, I choose destiny.
Fate versus Destiny
Kit G. July 1, 1999