Destiny – Can We Change It?
In a recent gathering of girlfriends, the trending topic of discussion turned out to be – Can we change destiny?
There were polar opinions. Group North Pole opined that:-
- Irrespective of what we may do, whatever has to happen, will happen. Que sera sera – whatever will be, will be.
- Everything in life is pre-destined; be it – childhood experiences, family, education, children, career, marriage.
- If we have gone somewhere in life, it is because it was “destined” to happen; and if we have stumbled across life’s path & fallen, it is because it was “so destined”.
- Success & failure are pre-destined. World is full of successful people who never seem to take life seriously; and world is full butt-slogging, hard-working souls who forever remain failures. It is destined.
- Marriages-are-made-in-heaven. Come what may, we’ll meet & marry the person who has been scripted for us in heaven. And if a marriage breaks, that that is destined too; “destined” time frame for the marriage is over. And if you lose a partner or are unwed, that too is “written” on your forehead too & there’s not much you can do to change it.
- The philosophy that emerged from this group was: don’t complain, take everything in your stride, your life has already been orchestrated before your birth, we’re simply acting out a script.
Group South Pole opined everything to the contrary:-
- We’re not puppets.
- If everything was pre-destined, then there’s no need to slog for your daily sustenance either. If you’re destined to eat, food will come to you.
- There’s something called free-will. We are masters of our own destiny.
- If we don’t like something or the situation we are in, we always have the right (& the ability) to either walk away or make changes to the situation.
My take – We have to walk away from the “ME” concept first
In both these opinion, the one thing that predominantly stands out is the “me” concept. Either we believe that “I” have to accept my lot in life as being “pre-destined” & be content. Or “I” have the power “to change my destiny”.
I agree with neither. Neither are we subject to a pre-destined series of life events, nor do we have unlimited power to script our own destinies. My take is somewhat different:-
- I’m a firm believer in the Hindu philosophy that says “as you sow, so you reap”. Not because I’m a Hindu but because the philosophy of “balancing accounts” appeals to me.
- I believe that the ultimate aim of human life – or subsequent human lives – is COMPASSION. That is the final destination.
- So the only way we can relieve ourselves, purge ourselves, of the urge-to-hurt is if we can experience the pain of that hurt; the hurt that we may have so unwittingly imposed on others. Once the pain in coded into the records of our body, mind & spirit; we can never again inflict a similar hurt on anyone. That is our 1st step towards compassion.
- Pain is not God’s punishment. Punishment is a harsh, revengeful, angry word. God is neither harsh, nor revengeful, nor angry. He is the embodiment of love & compassion. Is that not why we pray to Him in spite of the hardships he has supposedly inflicted?
- Pain is our best teacher on our road to compassion. We choose it because we choose to learn. We choose it because we regret what we may have done in the past. And by choosing to undergo that very experience, that very pain – we ensure that our soul is never again capable of inflicting any such hurt in our future lives.
- There is a Greek philosophy that says – from the area of our greatest pain, comes our greatest ability to heal.
- According to this philosophy, Socrates has written that – your illnesses will make you the greatest doctor; your poverties will make you the greatest Philanthropist; your struggle to educate yourself will make you the greatest Teacher – and so on…
- SO WHAT IS MY TAKE THEN? THAT LIFE EVENTS ARE PRE-DESTINED BECAUSE AS-WE-SOW-SO-WE-REAP?
- Definitely not. That’s neither my take nor my philosophy.
- SO AM I THEN SAYING THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US THE POWER TO RE-WRITE WHAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN INTO OUR DESTINY?
- Certainly not. That too is neither my take nor my philosophy.
My take is: WE HAVE VERY LIMITED POWER, IF ANY, TO CHANGE OUR OWN DESTINY. OUR DESTINY DEFINITELY IS SCRIPTED BY OUR OWN PAST ACTIONS – BUT WE HAVE UNLIMITED POWER TO CHANGE SOMEONE ELSE’S DESTINY. SIMILARLY, THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO HAVE UNLIMITED POWER TO CHANGE OUR DESTINY.
- Your destiny is pre-written. YOU cannot change it. SOMEONE ELSE can. So in effect, destiny CAN be changed. But if we were to attempt to change our destiny, then it would be motivated either by selfishness or by arrogance. Both of which cannot be the appropriate channels through which destiny can be changed. The channel can only be compassion – and compassion has to flow from another person towards us.
- Look back into your own past. Our personal destiny pretty much stops at our time of birth. We are born with a certain body; a certain level of intellect; a certain family background; either we’re born orphans or we’re blessed with parents & siblings. These circumstances of our birth; the abundance of assets or the lack of them – define the sum total of our past actions & present destiny. Period. These are our weapons, our “astra-shastras” with which we’ll battle our way ahead in life. EVERYTHING ELSE IS A GIFT, A CONSCIOUS ACT, OF SOMEONE ELSE – that has brought us where we are today.
- We were fed, clothed, sheltered because our parents chose to do so. We were educated because our parents chose to do so. Should we have been born orphans – a compassionate set of different people would have fed, clothed, sheltered us; would have perhaps adopted us, taken us under their wing; given us an education, given us wings. Where is the ME in all this?
- In our successful careers, can we really say that that no one out there gave us that much needed “break”? How many times have unsuspecting people come by & gently nudged the course of our lives in a better direction. Where is the ME in all this?
- How many times did we feel that urge to step out of line & give a slight push to someone who we saw obviously struggling with something? We know they couldn’t have done it on their own.
- Someone out there could have changed our lives for better or for worse; that was their free-will. We can change someone’s life for better or for worse. That’s our free-will.
- The examples are endless.
- The tags can be anything – parental responsibility, sibling affections, friends, teachers, mentors, guides – it can be anything – but there is only ONE philosophy that comes with every/any tag – a deep inherent selfless urge to change another soul’s life for the better – a softening of the heart – “to script for them a better destiny” – COMPASSION.
- Devoid of COMPASSION, even with any/all of these tags under our belt, we cannot make a damn difference to anyone’s life. There will always be “bad” parents; “bad” siblings; “bad” friends’ “bad” teachers, mentors, guides. People who could have scripted our destinies for the worse.
- Being born to a tag does not guarantee role achievement; being compassionate is what does the trick.
- So if we believe we are “masters of our destiny”, we are ignoring the contribution of everyone & everything else. In the long run, it will only make us arrogant – leading us away from the path of humility & compassion.
- CAN DESTINY BE CHANGED? Most certainly yes.
- DO I HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE MY DESTINY? I don’t believe so. Or perhaps to a very limited extent.
- DO I HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE SOMEONE ELSE’S DESTINY? Yes. I have unlimited power to change someone else’s destiny. The catch will always be – do I wish to do so? – and how much do I wish to do so?
- SO WHAT HAPPENS TO MY DESTINY? Like attracts like. There will always be people out there who can make a positive difference to your life; who are holding the power to change your destiny.
- HOW WILL I FIND THE PEOPLE WHO CAN CHANGE MY DESTINY? You have to make the effort to go out there and mingle with the world. You were not born to be an island. Be visible to those who can effect a change in your life.
- CAN DESTINIES BE CHANGED FOR BETTER AND WORSE? Yes. Actions & advice that stem from compassion & selflessness will change your lives for the better. Actions & advice that stem from selfish interests will change your life for the worse. Learn to recognize. There will always be people around you who either tell you “to do” or “not do” something. Learn to recognize who has your interests at heart.
So go out there & make a positive difference to some other soul. Bring out the compassion in you. You have the power. You can do it. You can change someone’s destiny.
And be humble enough to accept that some soul out there can make a positive difference to your life too. They are the ones with compassion. They have the power. They can do it. They can change your destiny.
That’s probably what God intended – we are all wired together – either ethereally in the subconscious or tangibly in the conscious – either way, every thought & action of ours brings a reaction somewhere else – it’s called UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS – so make the thoughts positive; make the actions positive – bring a positive change to the Universe – it’s called love & compassion – it’s the GOD PARTICLE.
That’s my take. That’s my truth.