Call it inescapable, inevitable, inexorable, fate, luck or misfortune, chance. How many ways can you call destiny? An ancient legend says that our destiny is already written before we are born and will guide our whole life; if this is true it has a strange way of doing things. Yes, because I have noticed that when there have been big changes in our lives, the one that started it all was a moment, a single moment, which in the light of later could be avoided or confirmed depending on whether the change was for the better or for the worse.
Sometimes a fortuitous coincidence has made us meet a person who has changed our lives. It may have been a small delay on a tram or train schedule, or even a sudden desire for an ice cream on a hot summer. If we had looked up a moment earlier or later, nothing would have happened. Instead, that very moment made two gazes meet.
But it’s not just a matter of affairs of the heart, fate also has a hand in everything else: for example, the alarm clock didn’t go off and we were late for a job interview, or an accident between two lorries on the motorway made us miss the medical school entrance test, radically changing the expectations you had, maybe not for the worse, but maybe so.
And have you ever thought that behind that moment not only your life changed, but also that of some of the people around you? Maybe someone would never have been born, maybe someone would have divorced, maybe someone else would have gone to live far away. Yes, because as things change for us automatically, they change for others too. And it is often our decisions that change the lives of others, just as the decisions of others change our own.
What an interweaving of destinies our life is, and not only for us or those close to us, but somehow we can also influence people we don’t know and will never know. To give an example, I have been doing a job for about 10 years. For example getting a job that really saved us at that moment. A complete stranger could have a car accident with the person who had that job before me. And who knows maybe even I unknowingly changed the life of some stranger in some obscure and strange way.
I am convinced that all it takes is nothing. Forgetting your mobile phone at home and coming back to get it; who knows, maybe that could change something, a small thing, or maybe that’s why we weren’t involved in a big accident, with deaths and injuries. I think each one of us has thought at least once that it could have happened to us if we had not been involved in a big accident….
If you go into the meaning of destiny, you find that some people don’t believe it. They say that we are the authors of our own. They are probably partly right, but I think only partly. In fact, if we think about our current life, we can certainly decide, if we are not satisfied, to change something. But this in my opinion is a rational choice. I think we all try to live our lives as best we can, aware of the fact that we have this one and only this one and that time past does not return.
And many of the choices we make in our lives, big and small, are made to try to be better, to improve, to be happy. Unfortunately, choices sometimes turn into mistakes, but I am convinced that when we made that choice, we were convinced we were doing our best. Unfortunately, mistakes can only be seen afterwards, if there have been any. The saying ‘hindsight is 20/20’ is never truer.
These are digressions, so let’s go back to the concept of destiny. There are still those who think that it is fate that decides our lives and that everything depends on a superior force that has already written our destiny and that we are free to choose only the little things in life but not the decisive choices. This is not entirely true either. Our life is a mixture of all these things.
There are people who believe that everything is absolutely causal, that we live at the mercy of chaos without meaning or control. This is not entirely true either. In my opinion, fate is a part of our decisions, a part of other people’s decisions, and again, completely random events. And in my opinion, the concept of destiny is precisely that of completely random events that have led to decisions that have somehow changed our lives, or that have changed the lives of people close to us and influenced our own.
I would just be curious, as I think you would be curious, to know how our life would have gone if we had not made that choice or those choices. Where we would be now, with whom, whether we would be happy or not, what kind of life we would lead. But unfortunately we are not allowed to know and we have to be content with what we have at the moment, trying not to carry the past with us, which, as the word itself says, is in the past and can no longer be changed.
And so we should welcome the saying “let’s live in the present” because it is the only time we have, be it good or bad, hoping that destiny will bring us a happier tomorrow.