The riptide of life
As the waves toss it from side to side, can a lone paper boat sail the sea by its own volition? Is there really any way to control where you go in life? What happens throughout life is something that people can barely control. The freedom of making choices is a treasured gift of humanity. The ability to manifest destiny, control fate, and freedom, are aspirations that all humans share.
The world is defined by randomness that nothing and nobody controls. Everyone must succumb to their environment, conform to the rules imposed by those with power, and suffer through the terrible things that life throws at them. The control of fate and possibility of changing it can often be described by the short but complicated and debated term, “Manifest destiny,” which means:
Manifest destiny was a phrase coined by the US to justify the country’s expansion in the 19th century, but there is another connotation to manifest destiny: the power to change one’s situation and forge one’s own destiny.
This phrase is a mere hope that no human can actually achieve. An essay about end-of-life care, “Letting Go”, written by Atul Gawande says, “Sara Thomas Monopoli was pregnant with her first child when her doctors learned that she was going to die.” (1) Sara Monopoli was a non-smoker, healthy eater in her early thirties who contracted lung cancer. No one can honestly say that Sarah could control getting cancer and dying. Even though she was healthy and did things that wouldn’t warrant getting cancer, she still died from it. In other words, there is no way to create your own path in life because you are powerless against the pressures of the world. It is the cruel truth of this world: no one can be who they want to be, so no one can manifest their destiny.
Not everyone believes the same definition of manifest destiny. Some people think that manifest destiny doesn’t mean complete ability to control your life, but rather to do your best to change your path, and that everyone can make change. There are many opinions on manifest destiny. A well known American author, Wayne Dyer, wrote a quote about manifest destiny: “You cannot always control what goes on the outside, but you can control what goes on inside.” (2) No one can master others, only themselves. Everyday people are changing their destiny: their future, so manifest destiny is, in reality, something that all humans do. This is a positive view on the matter; saying that everyone has enough power to choose what happens to them because they can control their own actions.
Manifest destiny is not an impossible hope nor something that everyone can do. Manifest destiny is just being able to control how you react to what the world throws at you while striving to reach your goals and without breaking down. Manifest destiny is the drive to continue against adversity and work to create a better future for yourself. No one can’t control anything that happens to you if you sit around idly, but everyone has no ability to control hidden disasters that life is so fond of. Not everyone can manifest destiny because some people are born into a pit of danger, fear, and suffering too deep to climb out of. Take slavery for example, slaves were generally treated horribly and were threatened with terrible punishments if they disobeyed. For some people like that, not just slaves, but all oppressed people, their identity has been forged to be subservient and docile to their oppressors, so they have no idea how to manifest their destinies. Being able to fight back is humanity’s dream, but, sadly, not everyone is aware of it.
If you want change, if you want to manifest your destiny, if you want something to be different, you must push for it as activists, soldiers, and people with a strong and burning passion in their hearts have done for millennia.