A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.
–Jean de la Fontaine
Labor Day. To me, this holiday invokes the concept of destiny – boy, that’s a loaded word.
Everyone, raise your hands – how many of you feel that the job/profession at which you labor is an answer to the call of destiny? You were born to work forty plus hours a week at the assigned tasks for this job. Yes? Maybe? No? How many posses the courage to ask this question of themselves? If you’re brutally honest with yourself, your answer could be a game-changer in your life. Does your life’s work strum across the chords of your heart with the answer of – Yes! This is what I’m meant to do.
Uh-oh. No? You work to pay your bills, feed and house you and yours, purchase the things you feel you need in your life to make you “happy” or “fulfilled”, fund your recreational activities that you squeeze into the bit of off-time you can grab. Do many people think about their destiny? So many distractions thwart us from asking the right questions about our life’s purpose: technology, social media, entertainment from all sides, the needs of family and friends, ad nauseum.
As an author of teen novels, destiny is a major theme for my two-book series, The Rebel’s Duet. In a one-two punch strategy, Rebels from Olympus presents the concept of identity; The Rebel’s Call follows up with purpose. My teen protagonist, Justus Appleyard, is told that he is the son of a Roman god and a mortal mother – identity. His destiny is divulged in the first novel, and after a tragic misfortune and some bad news, Justus decides in the second novel to dismantle the bomb of his presumed destiny and do absolutely nothing about it. He was going to drift through life and stay out of everyone’s way lest he ruin more lives. Destiny has other plans for Justus.
Are today’s youth mindful of destiny as they consider their futures? Perhaps, especially if they are being raised by mindful parents who urge their children to follow their hearts when considering their life’s path. It doesn’t have to be referred to as destiny. Also, answering destiny’s call may be a part of a spiritual or religious teaching.
Then there are many who are being brought up in a materialistic way – to go for the big bucks, the prestige of a professional title. Yes, it can be someone’s destiny, too. We can’t judge. But, are they fulfilling some deep calling urge from within? They have to figure it out for themselves.
This is not meant as a high-brow approach to what is destiny. Of course, there are scads of material out there written by philosophers, poets, theologists, playwrights, novelists. Mine is practical and down home. Destiny is working with your given talents, whether as a vocation or an avocation, which make you thrive rather than survive. This Labor Day, consider what difference would it make in the fabric of this world if we all whistled with joy while we worked.