Fate vs Destiny

Fate versus destiny

You don’t “have a fate”. Fate is a Greek God who drops things in your path to test you. You will experience the vicissitudes of fate. You may be fated to run into your girlfriend on the street. When someone says you may meet your fate, they may mean the vicissitude is something minor, they may mean the vicissitude is a major life changer (the love of your life) , they may mean you meet your final fate — the last in a long series of interventions by fate to change your direction. Your final fate changes your direction by stopping you from living. Your final fate is the last thing that happens to you before you arrive at your destiny.

You do have a destiny, One, and only one. Destiny is the pair of rails you’re riding unstoppably towards your inevitable Destiination. Destiny, Destiination. And, by the way, every single mortal’s destiny is destruction of some kind. We are all doomed. Destiny means how will you die and when you die will it be glorious, pitiable, commonplace, and will it be remembered or not, and honored or not. We all have to face death. We can face it on our knees, afraid and in denial, or we can face it standing up, with courage and acceptance.

Obviously, destiny can also mean other kinds of smaller deaths meaning you stop changing and become the thing you were going to be. But that’s really an illusion of storytelling, because nobody stops changing. Your destiny may be to be the President of the United States, but unless you’re assassinated, you’re going to be something after you’re the President of the United States. For example, George W. Bush became a painter, and Barack Obama became a Netflix producer. Your job, however historic, is not your destiny. Future, in the lower left quadrant, is the member that doesn’t quite fit. We don’t really know what it is. It’s all in our heads.

On reflection, you can think of smaller destinations as smaller destinies, of a sort. I may go to London in the spring, in which case London will be my Destiination. And a job is a kind of Destiination, so I suppose you could consider it a kind of destiny, as long as you realize it’s a trifling use of a big word. In the larger sense, destiny is only something you can ever see in hindsight. You have no idea what’s coming for you. The best you can do is pick a direction, and stay on the path.

Another thing to think about: we don’t have a choice in fate. Fate happens to us and we deal with it according to our characters. Fate is obstacles. We very much have a choice in Destiny, What direction we’re going in, what paths we will take to get there.

Our destiny is a mystery in this sense: what circumstances will conspire to get us there, what will be just before we arrive. You’ll be arriving at his station stop you’ve never been before, so who knows what the station will look like?

Destiny is a stop. Fate is an obstacle that changes direction.