Mr. Destiny and Mrs. Fate

Third Person, a middle-aged man wakes up one morning to find that the road he’s been traveling has ceased to be interesting. The turbulent hills and valleys have become flat. The hairpin turns and high-banked corners have given way to straight, dull, uninteresting highway. Trees, meadows, lakes, and streams are no longer noticed. The steady stream of yellow dashed lines is the only color in Mr. Person’s life. Third Person finds that speeding up life only makes the dashes melt together into one solid featureless line. Slowing down breaks up the lines, however, the hypnotic dashes prevent Mr. Person from seeing the world as once before. This morning, Mr. Person woke up to find two forks on the road. There was a left-hand fork and a right-hand fork. The gleaming silver of the fork shone bright in the sun. The yellow dashes from this dull roadway of life reflected in its polish. Inscribed in the handle of the left-hand fork are these words, “There is no reason to wait for a fork in the road, make one.” It was signed, “Mr. Destiny.” On the handle of the right-hand fork was an inscription that read, “No matter which fork is taken, the final destination remains the same.” This fork was signed, “Mrs. Fate.”

Understanding the meanings of destiny and fate helps to cope with the events of life. Mr. Destiny, through his inscription on the left-hand fork, implies that there is no need for someone to wait for a new path in order for one to change the course of life. Mrs. Fate, through her inscription on the right-hand fork, implies the notion that no matter what course of life a person takes, the destination will remain the same. Third Person, being of an open mind, begins to examine life through the words of Mr. Destiny and Mrs. Fate. Mr. Person realizes that destiny and fate are two different people.

Mr. Destiny affects the lives of people by influencing the decisions that are made and map the course of one’s life. These decisions can be constructive with serious regard for consequences or they may be impulsive with no regard for what may happen. Mr. Destiny changes the lives of people constantly. Through manipulation and coercion, decisions are made in the lives of people who are not aware that Mr. Destiny even exists. Those people who acknowledge the influences of Mr. Destiny will still make decisions.

The influences of Mrs. Fate, however, are quite different. Mrs. Fate is laid back, easy going, and has absolutely no bearing on the course of one’s life. Events in people’s lives will happen no matter what. They happen because Mrs. Fate says they will happen. Mrs. Fate decides what events of life will happen, how they will happen, and what time they will happen. There is no way to avoid Mrs. Fate. No matter how much Mr. Destiny may influence the course of one’s life, Mrs. Fate will not be denied. There are no forks in the road that will steer one away from fate.

Mr. Person will spend the next several years mapping the course of his life with the help of Mr. Destiny, knowing full well, that Mrs. Fate waits patiently. Throughout these years Mr. Person realizes there are many people living under the same presence of mind. Many groups, associations, and organizations have been formed for the purpose of learning more about destiny and fate. Many of them attempt to put tangible meaning to destiny and fate, such as the Kabalarian Society. It is the philosophy of this Canadian society that, “one’s mental characteristics, state of well-being, and experiences in life are shown to be determined by one’s name, which incorporates the specific forces of intelligence in the mind of the individual” (Kabalarian).

Destiny can be described as any point in one’s life based on decisions that are made. Similarly, fate can be described as any point in one’s life regardless of whether or not any decisions are made. There are forces that act on individuals at all times. Destiny is construed of conscious decisions made by man. Fate is considered to be handed down by a more powerful, supernatural force. Destiny is left in the hands of man. Fate is left in the hands of God. Mr. Destiny and Mrs. Fate influence all events in life. There is a misguided perception that fate is a result of destiny. Individuals have the ability to choose their own destiny; however, they can not choose their fate. Mrs. Fate is of a power far greater than man.

The events of an individual’s life are perceived in one of two ways, either destiny or fate. When Mr. Person examines an event in his life, responsibility for that event is given to either Mr. Destiny or Mrs. Fate. The main factor in assigning responsibility is the finality of the event. Mr. Destiny tends to leave people with a sense of continuation. In other words, the event is considered by the individual to be temporary and any consequences would be minor and temporary as well. Mrs. Fate, on the other hand, leaves individuals with a sense of termination. The event is final and has permanent consequences, which do not necessarily have to be negative in nature.

In some philosophical studies, it is mentioned that destiny and fate work together, much like in a marriage. Each compliments and affects the other. The Golden Age of American Philosophy, a compilation of works from noted philosophers, selected and edited by Charles Frankel, theorizes that, “The Life of Reason is the happy marriage of two elements – impulse and ideation – which if wholly divorced would reduce man to a brute or to a maniac. The rational animal is generated by the union of these two monsters. He is constituted by ideas which have ceased to be visionary and actions which have ceased to be vain” (287). It is apparent that the perception of the influences of an individual’s existence is quite broad. The focus of perception is based on a large number of factors, such as religion, culture, family, and education, to name just a few. These factors relate directly to the many facets of an individual’s existence.

Mr. Person’s existence contains hundreds of facets. Like the facets of a brilliant diamond, each contains a reflection of one tiny part of Mr. Person’s existence. Happiness, sorrow, love, confidence, family, children, friends, and co-workers are a few examples of the hundreds of facets that make up the existence of Third Person. The responsibility and influences of Mr. Destiny affects only a few of these facets. Some are affected directly and some are not. The indirect effects are normally a result of the consequences of the event, whether temporary or permanent. Mr. Destiny’s effects are limited to only a few facets of Third Person’s existence. Mrs. Fate, however, because of the sense of finality of the event and the permanence of the consequences, affects all of the facets of Third Person’s existence.

Third Person tolerates events in his life by understanding the forces that influence it. Through examining the events he assigns responsibility to either Mr. Destiny or Mrs. Fate. To examine the event, Mr. Person considers the finality of the event, the permanence of its consequences, and the number of facets of his existence that is affected, both directly and indirectly. To tolerate the event Mr. Person simply understands that his destiny can be consciously altered and is not and never will be, final. With that, Mr. Person also understands that there are forces that act upon his existence that are supernatural and without influence. This brings closure to the event, which allows Mr. Person to focus on the facets of his existence that he has the ability to change. Understanding the influences of Mr. Destiny and Mrs. Fate leaves individuals with a richer, happier, relaxed, and more tolerant existence.

Trails and Pathways

Cut through the forest and tall grass, your path meanders its way along with no end in sight.  Maybe it’s around the next bend or over the next rise, or perhaps at the horizon, where the sun goes to sleep.  Birds whisper magically upon your ears as the forest canopy funnels the intoxicating smells of wild flowers, berries, and fruit trees.  The air is light with a dreamy taste of familiar surroundings.  The path is well used.  Nothing changes.  Between the rabbits playing tag with the squirrels and the birds nearly landing on your shoulder for a free ride, it is near perfect.  So perfect that at any time you expect to see a fawn; speckled innocence upon a golden brown coat, emerge from parted liquid – standing upon an island of emerald-green grass.  Yet, all is not perfect.  It might look of perfection to some, yet through your eyes, it is endless.  Looking backwards there is nothing to see that you haven’t seen…and looking forward is to see what you have already anticipated. It becomes overwhelming at the thought of nothing at the end of this long, monotonous, path.  Yet many people travel this path.  Why?

They are content with the path they have chosen.  So many people succumb to their path that they have let it become the only one they know. It is an easy opportunity for the basics of living. They shelter their dreams from ever escaping this path, out of fear and insecurity. Traveling beyond the only path they’ve known takes an incredible amount of determination and power to overcome fears they’d never have thought to experience.  Not fears of the dark or scary monsters or that snake that might slither across their toes…but the deepest fear.

The fear of making a decision about a life that may have them wander off their path and onto a trail.

Walking along the path, your attention moves away from the fluffy white clouds tacked against a blue canvas, to figuring out ways to get off this path…perhaps finding another. How can you leave a path that you’ve known and sought comfort from your whole life in the hopes of finding a different one? If there’s another path, how will you know it’s the right one?  How will you know its better?  What if its worse?  If you get to another path, would you be able to leave the one you’re on and at the very least come back to the one you left?

As you walk along…riddled with fear and doubt you begin to notice small breaks in the grass and tree lines.  You’ve never noticed them before, yet they look like they’ve been there for as long as the path has been…they are dark and mysterious.

Stopping, you look closer at one of them.  You notice the ground is worn slightly and the grass and saplings are pushed aside and bent as if someone had walked through before. Looking into the darkness you notice footsteps.  You suddenly realize what it is you’re looking at.  Escape routes.  Places along the path where people have decided to get away for one reason or another.  These places…are trails.

Trails are different than pathways.  Trails serve a distinct purpose.  Each one goes somewhere special, for something specific, and for no other reason.  Not many people use them.  Trails usually don’t get used again by the same person. Some trails are made by only one person…some trails are made by several people…well worn, yet nothing as overwhelming and unfulfilled as your pathway has become.  Trails are scary in that once they are used, no one ever knows what happened to the person who used it…unless they backtracked because they didn’t like what they saw or felt.

The safest way to explore a trail is to do it with someone you trust enough and can count on to be there no matter where the trail might lead…and to help you back if you’re not happy.  You’ve walked your pathway long enough to know whom you can trust to keep you safe.  Perhaps you’ll discover a trail that leads to college…or a new restaurant…or skydiving…or fishing…or the love of your life.  It could lead to anything, but you won’t know if you don’t take any of them.

Sometimes the trail will lead to an entirely different pathway.  Similar to the one you left, yet much different in appearance and feel.  Apprehension sets in as you realize you won’t know anyone on this new path, except the person who might have walked with you on the trail.  Now, you can either trust that person to support you and guide you in becoming familiar with the new path, or you can trust him to get you back to the path you just left.  Either way, you have to trust the person you walk the trail with, or you’ll never leave your path.

Remember that the man you walk the trail with, is depending on you for the same.

Trails are misleading.  Because so little is known about them, you have to take them at your own risk, or walk with someone you trust.  Someone who knows why you want to leave the only path you’ve ever known.  You might find that you feel you can trust someone to walk a trail with you…only to find out this trail leads to a place of deceit and selfishness.  Finding your way back to your path is relatively easy, as these selfish trails are short and to the point.  There is really nothing to be gained by taking another trail with the same person that deceived you with the first one.  It puts you back on your path where you left off, or worse yet, you find yourself walking along the same stretch of path that you have already walked for some time, having to rebuild your courage and confidence to try again.

The trails that you see may not always be exits or escape routes.  Some of them are made from people walking along other paths, seeking a new path.  You may find yourself walking along your path one day and a total stranger steps out of the grass…grazing the tops of the tall grass with his fingertips.  He is just as scared to walk on this trail, as you are to walk on another. You say hi to each other, and after a short time, a connection is made.  It is a light one to start with, but you find yourself walking and sharing your path with him…perhaps learning of his path and the reasons he left.  As you walk along this trail you develop a trust in each other.  Eventually there becomes enough trust between you that you both talk of considering another trail…this time together rather than each of you alone.  Do you discover a new trail with this person or do you hold onto what you know and change nothing?  There is always a way back to your path, as there is for him.

A pathway is the life you lead…a trail is a decision you make along that path.  Some decisions propel you forward, just as a short cut might, and others send you back. It is a journey and I am there with you no matter which trail you choose.