Fate vs Destiny
In modern usage, the terms fate and destiny are often used interchangeably. In casual conversation, this makes no great different. Conversely, people who have embraced New Age thinking will raise a hue and cry if common usage does not adhere to their personal conception of the words. These concepts can be as vague as ‘a personal star’ and ‘a guardian force’ however and therefore not useful definitions for the general populace.
Admittedly, the study of fate and destiny is rather esoteric. One must delve deep into mankind’s collective spiritual history while simultaneously splitting linguistic hairs.
Fate ‘“ the preordained course of your life that will occur because of or in spite of your actions.
Destiny ‘“ a set of predetermined events within your life that you take an active course in shaping.
Fate and Destiny in History
Fate ‘“ is represented by the three sisters, or Moirae, in Greek mythology. Clotho spun the thread of your life, Lachesis measured its length, and Atropos cut it when you were to die. Variations of these supernatural sisters are seen in Roman and Norse mythology as well. Fate was seen as something supernaturally dictated and beyond the control of mortals.
Destiny ‘“ can be seen in words like Calvinistic predestination and American Manifest Destiny. It implies an outcome predetermined by a set of events which, once put into motion, move inexorably forward. With this concept, humans have a hand in events, but only to get the ball rolling.
The Wheel of Fortune
Much of the Christian period was dominated by the concept of a wheel of fortune to which man was bound throughout his life. Sometime the wheel turned and took him high, while other times the wheel brought him low.
Fate ‘“ views the wheel in a pessimistic fashion. Whether high or low, there is nothing the individual can do about it. When death approaches it is viewed fatalistically, with apathetic dread.
Destiny ‘“ views the wheel’s rotations as opportunity. A believer in destiny will try to influence his place on the next turn of the wheel through his education and actions, however he won’t doubt the veracity of the wheel if he remains downtrodden.
1.Fate and destiny both refer to a man’s future and fortune.
2.Fate is seen as divinely planned, whereas destiny has the power to be influenced by man’s actions.
3.Fate comes from the three sisters of Greek mythology who preordain the lives of all men while destiny is seen in more humanistic concepts such as predestination.
4.Fate is often pessimistic or fatalistic about one’s fortune whereas destiny is more upbeat and willing to take and chance for betterment.