In Greek mythology the Fates were three sister goddesses that determined a persons life. At ones birth the youngest sister, Clotho (the spinner), spun the thread of life. Her sister Lachesis (the allotter), determined how long the thread would be and the oldest sister, Atropos (unturnable), cut the thread. Even the gods feared the sisters and had to submit to their assigned fate.
While this myth makes for a great story, the truth is we are all susceptible to fate. We had no control over the hand we were dealt at birth. Our size, shape, sex, our ethnicity, any deformities or handicaps, and the gift and talents bestowed upon us, these are just our lot in life.
Like Clotho the spinner, fate determined the shell of our existence at birth and while no one knows for sure, perhaps like the other two sisters, Lachesis and Atropos, fate has also determined the length of our lives and when we will die. We have little control over the outcome.
Fate and destiny are words that tend to be used interchangeably but there is one big difference between the two. With destiny you have a choice where as with fate you do not.
Destiny is what you do with the fate you have been given. You may have been given the gift of the voice of an angel, that was your fate but you get to choose whether to follow your destiny and become a famous singer.
Take the story of Mattie Stepanek, born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, he spent most of his life wheel chair bound and reliant on a breathing ventilator yet he achieved amazing things in his short 13 year life.
Mattie was a favourite guest of the Oprah Winfrey Show, published 6 books on poetry, made the New York Times best sellers list, met presidents and was a champion for peace and a popular motivational speaker.
Here was a person that fate dealt a cruel hand, a crippled body and a very short life but gifted him with the wisdom of an ancient prophet and a unique way to communicate his message. He could have ignored his destiny, felt sorry for his lot, and spent his life shuttered away from humanity. Instead he left a legacy of published works of poems and songs, and the Mattie Stepanek Foundation which is an advocate agency for peace.
I believe that no matter how cruel fate may seem it always offers the potential of an amazing destiny. Even the unthinkable loss of a child offers this gift to his loved ones. Why was I taken so young and what are you planning to do about? Will you fight for others who may suffer like me? Can my short life be a legacy for change?
The one thing all humans possess is feel will. The ability to think for ourselves and make choices. No matter what fate has handed you in this life, good or bad, your destiny is yours to do with as you see fit. There are gifts and potentials you can draw on to change your path. Everyone has at least one even it is just your ability to smile and light up a room.
We have no idea how long our lives will be or what fate has in store for us down the road but we can always choose our best assets, use them to their fullest potential and change our destiny.