I looked up ‘fate’ and ‘destiny’ in the dictionary and here’s what I got:

Fate – An event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future
Destiny – An event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future

    Somehow, it doesn’t make sense to me that fate and destiny are one and the same. To me, fate is what happens to us and destiny is what we bring over ourselves. If we were to let life take it’s own course, in other words, leave everything to fate, would we ultimately reach our destiny? We would sure reach a destination but to reach a destiny that we can call ours, we need to take control of the wheel. This reminds me of a scene in ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets‘ (it’s amazing how much light fiction could shed on reality):

HARRY: So the Sorting Hat was right. I should be in Slytherin.

DUMBLEDORE: It’s true, Harry. You do possess many of the qualities Voldemort himself prizes. Resourcefulness. Determination. A certain disregard for the rules. Yet the Sorting Hat placed you in Gryffindor.

HARRY: Only because I asked it to.

DUMBLEDORE: “Exactly. Which makes you very different from Voldemort. It’s not our abilities that show what we truly are, Harry. It’s our choices.”

    At each step of life, we are given the free will to choose how to proceed from there. ‘Fate’ may decide what options we have in front of us. But ultimately, it’s our choices that not only show what we are but also determine where we land – the destiny. Choices are sometimes straight forward, sometimes difficult and sometimes scary too. So, how do we know how to choose best? we learn! Fatalistic as it may sound, that’s the only way (sense a paradox here?). No one can claim to have chosen the right path always, made the right decision always but the key is to learn from the mistakes and move on, ‘cos somewhere along the way, the lesson learnt would make all the difference.

    P.S: If you’re wondering what that was all about, well, just one of those times I try to lift myself up with amateur attempts at philosophy :)

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