To Be or Not To Be; How Fate and Destiny Work


Connor McKee-Sargent

FATE The concepts of fate and destiny are very objective matters. Everyone has their own opinion on how to lead to their life, and that opinion is often influenced by what people believe the future holds for them.

Adya Mohapatra, Copy Editor

Fate and destiny are often referred to as the same thing and are used interchangeably in casual conversation. However, according to Definition Between, they are quite different. Fate is what is bound to happen to you no matter your actions. Meanwhile, destiny is the predetermined set of events in your life that can be shaped by your actions. As junior Samuel Altimore says, fate is “mostly the idea that something is inevitable,” while “destiny is the same, but will happen,  [only] if someone tries to achieve it.” Fate tends to be more pessimistic compared to destiny, which is seen as more opportunistic. The two terms are undoubtedly connected, but are far from the same thing as most people assume.

When discussing the topic of fate and destiny, people usually focus on fate, as it involves a complete lack of control in your life. This idea is perfectly communicated by the concept of fate represented by Three Sisters in Greek mythology. Clotho spins the thread of life, Lachesis measures the length of the thread, and Atropos cuts the thread when it is your time to die. How long your life will be and when exactly it will end are already predetermined in this case, which can comfort some while scaring others.

Psychology Today states believing in fate is beneficial to one’s life. It takes off the pressure of always having the right answer and relinquishes control that often burdens us.

Belief in fate allows us to keep going and gives us hope that everything that is happening is meant to be. Things are what they are, and when we are forced to encounter difficult situations, accepting the more difficult things in life becomes a little easier. Additionally, Elite Daily says that believing in a concrete future enables us to lead more positive lifestyles by giving us a feeling of purpose. It becomes easier to keep our anxieties and insecurities in check. Plus, knowing that there is a determined outcome waiting for you is a great motivator. Senior Emily Bautel says, “It gives you a goal to reach.” Freshman Chloe Feyerick says, “It kind of motivates me because I know there’s something ahead.”

Though there are many believers out there, there are almost as many skeptics. People often argue, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people if fate is real?’ Unexplained Mysteries argues a similar point. It explains that fate may simply be a way for us to cope with our fears and desires about the future, possibly suggesting that we believe in fate out of desperation. However, the website also states that fate is important in understanding why we cannot control everything and that we need to learn to adapt to change. Whether or not fate is real, the concept of it can greatly benefit us. Besides, when it comes to more abstract matters, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and interpretations. You do not have to have real evidence of something to wholeheartedly believe in it.

But what happens when it comes to destiny? If you have to be careful about your actions because they shape your future, how do you know which actions matter and which do not? Sophomore Katherine Dawson says actions matter “a lot because [the] things someone does in life comes back to them in the future. Most would assume that putting more thought into the bigger decisions and ignoring the smaller decisions is the way to go. However, Do Something Cool disagrees, saying that it is hard to look back on your past and realize what effect your small actions have had on your life. That is because we see small decisions as independent of each other, making them seem insignificant. Seeing them as things building on top of one another makes you think more about your actions. The website uses the example of dieting. Making an exception on a birthday, then a holiday, then on the weekend all seem  insignificant as their own separate actions, but when you put them all together, it sure seems like you are not on your diet anymore. Overall, it is about what all your decisions add up to; one exception may seem acceptable at the time, but can build up into something more impactful in the future.

What it all seems to come down to is being aware of your actions. Whether there is something destined for you or not, it does not hurt to believe there is if it serves as great motivation. You have as much control over your life as you believe yourself to have, proving that ultimately, how you lead your life is completely in your hands no matter what the future holds for you.