(This is an article I wrote on how I view destiny especially when applied to the context of our day to day lives.)
To kill time and save myself from boredom since last week, I entertained myself watching “Nickelodeon’s AVATAR: The Last Airbender, the Legend of Aang” in my room. Peering into the screen of my laptop for hours, I was so hooked to it, close to being hypnotized by it, that even in my dreams, I got to bend elements, (even daydream about it), too. It was an amazing feeling that, even at 30, though it made me feel awkward at first, relieved me of all sorts of stress that Peter Pan completely denied when he stayed in Neverland. It was my sanity this weekend that I am down to the third book already. Consistently, in almost 40 chapters already, the characters were driven by one thing: their destiny. No matter what tribe they belong, fire, water, earth or air, their lives unfold towards fulfilling their destiny: to save the world from destruction and to unite the four nations once again.
I would have wanted to write something more of my usual stuff: social critique, opinions on policies, programs and project, about the “what is” versus the “what ought to be” of society, but the word “destiny” lingers persistently in my mind. As a writer, I would consider this a stumbling block that pressing hard on to my usual stuff; I am left staring blankly on the screen of my laptop or the trees beyond it; just staring blankly and hearing, thinking, of the word DESTINY. (Silence follows.) But, as a writer, too, I could always find inspiration from anything and everything…like destiny and why it troubles me.
Destiny is seen as a sequence of events that is inevitable and unchangeable. I believe this notion of destiny troubles me. “Sequence of events” that is “inevitable and unchangeable,” when seen from the standpoint of reality, may seem gloomy. When each of us is destined to be, our lives, no matter how we believe we are unique, are bound to it. Nothing can be done. Nobody can change our destiny.
What is my destiny? What is your destiny? What is our destiny? (I can’t believe I am writing about this till this point.) I want something. I need a lot of things. I dream of becoming somebody. I dream of sharing my knowledge to the world (that is why I write, for a fact!). I am a teacher motivated to empower, to Jose Rizal, the hope of the fatherland, hoping that in my teaching, I can help better the world through them. Is this my destiny? (Awkward silence.) Inasmuch as I look back to the “sequence of events” in my life, with the journal I consistently make love with before I sleep or start my day, to the detail, is never “inevitable and unchangeable.” I mess up many times. I could not get what I want and need, fall short of becoming somebody; get off-track and away from my motivation to empower the future Filipinos when selfishness and self-interest overpower me at times. By the likes of this, I don’t know if this is the grand plan I have in mind when I come to think of my destiny. I don’t have Aang, the Avatar’s destiny to save the world and unite the four nations together in the end. I don’t know the end even. I just work with a bleak plan day in and day out, hoping that I reach the grand plan guided by my messy calculations of life.
Between destiny, “inevitable and unchangeable,” I’d go for hope. The hope that I can have the things I want and need; the hope that I can become somebody realizing my dream to empower the Filipinos of the future by sharing my knowledge and skills in any way I can. That hope that no matter how I mess up along the way, no matter how difficult or complicated or dark the path I am taking, the “sequence of events” of my life will be towards the light where everything that happened in the “sequence of events,” as it unfold, is given meaning.
Destiny, I believe, just like how Aang, the Avatar, and his friends found out, isn’t just doing the “inevitable and unchangeable.” Destiny is giving meaning to everything that happened to once life. This is Hope, when at the end of our lives, as we look back to the “sequence of events,” we give meaning to every single detail. And as we give meaning to it, we find meaning to who and what we are in the life we have lived, in good times and in bad. This is destiny for all of us.
What is destiny? (Empty silence, cicadas murmur…)
What is my destiny? — I do not know yet. I just hope. I Hope. And when all things come to the end, when I am at my end, I may or may not know my destiny. I just hope. I Hope…and pray. (Reassuring silence…and then smiles.)
Hope is such a consoling word. Alone or with others, Hope comforts; kept in the heart and mind, has silenced the ranting of “destiny.”
This is a voice from the 69th Street.
(PS. Thanks to Nickelodeon’s AVATAR: The Last Airbender, the Legend of Aang. Hope has consoled; hope has comforted; hope has silenced the ranting…)