Fate and Destiny

“Fate” and “destiny” are often used interchangeably to refer to the notion of predetermination; of future events following a predetermined plan or path.

Paths Yet, implicitly, we also make a distinction between the two in terms of the    degree to which each is allowing for alterations in the course of events to  which it is applied. Fate is usually associated with unalterable events; we are  in the hands of the ancient Fates, Gods, or cosmic forces; our lives, and  actions, are out of our control. There is a belief in a prescribed future: a  higher/supernatural authority (or authorities) has the future laid out for us.

Destiny, on the other hand, involves a course of events where we have a say,  or a hand, in preparing or making our future. We may be destined in one  sense to higher or lower things, but we can underachieve or push ourselves  hard to achieve better than expected.

This month’s The Haiku Foundation Per Diem: Daily Haiku reflects on both of these concepts. Deb Baker, this month’s guest editor, using “Kismet” as the title of her splendid collection, invites us to reflect on the “hinge” moments” or forked paths we encounter and the outcomes that result when we follow one or the other road, believing in fate, in destiny, or a choice we made. She writes,

Poems like these can make a reader feel a sense of momentum, a possible turning or smoothing path. Perhaps such a poem helps a reader discern something happening in the present moment in his or her own life. Or to see a new possibility, a different way forward, through someone else’s hinge moment.

.I’ll be reading with an extra eye for the different ways Kismet appears in the poems. I’ll be having fun too! Join me? You can find the daily poem here


The photo is of a path taken, crossing the river Schmutter, near Neusaess, Germany.