Fate or Destiny

by Terry Gresham

A barista person, whom I did not know, asked another barista person, again someone I did not know, to describe the difference between fate and destiny. These two coffee experts were at the same time whipping up coffee for me at what can only be described as the best coffee shop in Oklahoma City, the Red Cup. I did tip well for the superb service, so I felt all right about being a coffee shop conversation interloper.
The question was raised, “What is the difference between Fate and Destiny?
While butting in, I said this, “With fate you have no choice—it’s going to happen, but with destiny you always have a choice whether to go with it or not.” One of the barista persons said she would now have to use, that line if any future fate and destiny discussions ever popped up.

They thanked me. Handed me coffee. Looked at me oddly. Did the cash register thing. Then both went back to their contemplation where I saw one of them crack open a dictionary—standard equipment in a shop of this sort. Still, that book only defined the two words as synonymous leaving the two baristas even more perplexed. I sat down to get my morning buzz on with a cafe’ latte, muffin, and my book by Kafka asking myself their question—what is the difference between fate and destiny? I set myself to Googling.


“Fate is the cause, force, principle, or divine will that predetermines events (thanks Wikipedia) “Destiny may be seen either as a fixed sequence of events that is inevitable and unchangeable, or that individuals choose their own destiny by choosing different paths throughout their life.”

(thanks again, Wikipedia) Let me get this straight, fate gets forced upon you, but destiny can be ignored or embraced (Hey, I said that)

Folks I talk to make real distinctions between fate and destiny although the difference may be extremely closely related. Fate and destiny seem to be connected like at the hip. Like fate, you can’t get out of it like death and breathing—might be genetic or something. On the other hand, with Destiny you can have a revelation, or not, and then that is your destiny. With destiny, one becomes destined for things like: fame, love, land, poverty, greatness, or not. This said, and here’s the kicker, one persons’ destiny can lead to millions of other peoples’ fate. Or, it can be global. Those with Destiny bring doom for those with mere fate.

Here’s what people are saying about it on Facebook:

  • Teri McGrath: “Destiny hasn’t had a chance to disappoint us yet.”
  • Karen Jones :  “Fate is a four letter word while Destiny ends with the word tiny.”
  • Teri McGrath:  “Aw! Tiny!!!”
  • Jason Poudier: “Destiny is the great thing that we think is planned for us and fate is what fks it up.”

The Greeks

The Greeks described it like this: @ God Checker.com and greekmythology.com

To the Greeks the fates are 3 nearly naked ladies,

“they are: CLOTHO who spins the Thread of Life, LACHESIS who allots the length of the yarn, and ATROPOS who does the snip (the final one).”

The Chinese

The Chinese symbol for fate (ming yun)
is—I’m no expert, but what I have read—that this stands for “what life throws at you” or “your lot in life.”

The Spider as a Symbol of Fate @ tribes.tribe.net On Spider Symbolism.

“Spider: The spider has symbolized the controller or “weaver” of Fate for a variety of spiritual traditions. Athena was associated with the spider in early writings as her totem animal, “spinning the web of Fate,” and later as the maiden Arachne whose weaving inspired such jealousy in Athena that she turned Arachne into a spider. Hindu mythology states that Maya, the virgin face of the Triple Goddess, was represented by a spider, “spinner of magic, fate, and earthly appearances” similar to the Wheel of Fate (Walker, 1983). Clotho and the Virgin Moera were also associated with the spider. Due to the spider’s habit of devouring her consort, she was depicted as the death goddess Kalu-Uma. Similarly, Aztec mythology held that spiders were the souls of dead warrior women of the pre-Aztec matriarchate, who would descend from heaven on silken threads at the end of the world to devour all the men on earth. The Amazonians also had Fate-spinners. Medieval Europe associated spiders with witches. The Ashanti (West Africa) spider God, Anansi, is pictured here.” from www.ucmeta.org

Wow. Fate and destiny, the question of whether they are three Greek ladies or a web spinning spider, heck, I do not know the answer to that. But one thing is for sure, I do enjoy coffee and especially coffee with Kafka at the Red Cup. Perhaps I have found my destiny, or maybe this is my fate, or not.


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One response to “Fate or Destiny

  1. okieprogressive

    Reblogged this on okieprogressive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s