May (1981) defined destiny as "the design of the universe speaking through the design of each one of us" (p. 90). Our ultimate destiny is death, but on a lesser scale our destiny includes other biological properties such as intelligence, gender, size and strength, and genetic predisposition toward certam illnesses. In addition, psychological and cultural factors contribute to our destmy.
Destmy does not mean preordamed or foredoomed. It is our destination, our terminus, our goal. Within the boundaries of our destiny, we have the power to choose, and this power allows us to confront and challenge our destmy. It does not, however, permit any change we wish. We cannot be successful at any job, conquer any illness, enjoy a fulfilling relationship with any person. We cannot erase our destmy, "but we can choose how we shall respond how we shall live out our talents which confront us" (May, 1981, p. 89).
May suggested that freedom and destiny, like love-hate or life-death, are not antithetical but rather a normal paradox of life. "The paradox is that freedom owes its vitality to destiny, and destiny owes its significance to freedom" (May, 1981, p. 17). Freedom and destmy are thus inexorably intertwined; one cannot exist without the other. Freedom without destiny is unruly license. Ironically, license leads to
anarchy and the ultimate destruction of freedom. Without destiny, then, we have no freedom, but without freedom our destiny is meaningless.
Freedom and destiny give birth to each other. As we challenge our destmy, we gain freedom, and as we achieve freedom, we push at the boundaries of destmy.
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