One of the core desires for humanity, for all that we are social animals, is that we want to be special. We want to stand out from everyone else; we want to be unique. When we can’t find a unique thing to be proud of and to stand out, we will make them up.
For instance, freckles. A lot of people have freckles. Some even want to have them despite problems with those who do have them, as in the story “Freckle Juice”. Freckles are uncommon, so they are somewhat unique. But I have heard tales of those who DO have freckles comparing the arrangements of those freckles into patterns, making constellations of their freckles to be even more unique. And this is what I’m talking about when I say that even among those who have cause to be distinctive, there will be a trend to want to stand out from that group.
And with that, we come to the reason I’m writing this article. It is the “grand destiny” group that really makes me want to beat my brains out.
See, I was a member of that group as well at one point. Yes, Daven, the guy who knows some and tells much, who is equally adept at speaking out of his oral orifice as well as his anal one, used to think he had a great destiny. I honestly and passionately believed that I was put on this Earth to reclaim Wicca and to make it a haven for those who felt that connection and who needed a place where they weren’t freaks. I thought it was my duty to provide that to them. And I worked at it, long and tirelessly.
And I got burnt out.
But, that story is not for this article. The past, while being important, is irrelevant in this case. My point in mentioning it is that I understand what it’s like and the mental gymnastics that those who feel this way have to go through to convince themselves that they are more special than the rest of the world.
Most of it can be summed up by saying that they are unsure of themselves and have a bad self esteem.
Generally speaking, age tempers this impulse and it tends to make it so that the person in question no longer needs to be “more specal than thou”. It doesn’t happen with everyone, please understand, but most often the adults understand that there is a point where they don’t need to feel so super special.
Not everyone grows out of this impulse, but most do.
That realization, that they don’t need to feel special, generally coincides with a scaling back of their goals and their dreams. But it also marks a right of passage when they start thinking about other people besides themselves.
I know a lot of people who didn’t really grow up until they decided to be responsible for more than just themselves. It may have been a marriage, it may have been having a child, but in each and every case they made a decision to be responsible for more than one person in their life. And that caused a change in them that took them from the realm of “I’m so special and I have a great and ultimate destiny” to “I don’t have time for fantasy anymore. I have to take care of ______.”
For some reason that is the telling point. Once you have to take care of more than yourself (and animals don’t count), you seem to mature into a different human being.
But that does not mean that the great destinies aren’t out there. The general trick is that the people who have those destinies don’t know about it until later in their life. They certainly don’t go around and declare it to everyone they know and many they don’t. The key; if you think you are destined for great things, you probably aren’t.
The people who really have great destinies normally have a lot of humility, they understand that they may have the spotlight, but the people who actually do the work and keep the world spinning is the shopkeeper, the parent, the policeman. The people you see every day are the ones who make it possible to have a world and a society are the ones who actually matter.
It’s good to have heroes, to have those who live laser edged, diamond hard, huge lives. They make living for us less of a drag and less of a chore. They show us that people can have exciting lives, that there are people who do HUGE things that have an immediate impact on our life.
But the people who generally have the most impact on history are those who live their lifetime quietly and do what they should. Do you think that Sacagawea honestly thought she was making a huge impact on history by showing some people how to navigate rivers and negotiating her own safety to gain passage through territory held by others? Or that Elphas Levi knew his work was going to last through the centuries?
Those who have grand destinies generally only live their lifetime and try to do what they feel is right. They are quiet and you wouldn’t really pick them out of a group of people if you didn’t know who they are. And those who are in the spotlight and doing and being aren’t necessarily those who have a grand destiny. You can only judge if someone had a grand destiny only from a historical perspective.
We know, for instance, that Alexander the Great was a brilliant general, a heck of a tactician and he cut the Gordian knot. We know this because of history. But I bet that those around him didn’t necessarily think he had a grand destiny when he was 12. I bet that those who raised him just did the best they could as parents or guardians rather than with an eye to him being a HUGE influence on history.
Every parent hopes for, and every child wants a grand destiny, one that will change the world. But in a realistic sense, only about one person in a million will have that grand destiny. Those that do have that destiny will have lots of pain, heartache, frustration and loneliness to go with it. They will be isolated from most of the groups they have pledged to serve and to have the destiny for, and they will be misunderstood by just about everyone.
Do you really think Jesus was happy traveling from town to town, teaching and being hated, moving around so the authorities couldn’t find him and then finally being murdered by the very people he hoped to teach?
One of the best movies I have ever seen that highlights this difference between those with grand destinies and those who make the world continue to function is called “Pippin”. You can find it in the video stores. Rent it, watch it. Remember it.
Grand destinies generally lead to grand funerals. I would rather be one of those people who is in the background making sure the computers at my company work so that you have your insurance for your car, than someone who is fated to go out and teach the masses about how wonderful Wicca is. Yes, I have this website and it’s fairly popular. Yes, I teach through it. But if everyone who was reading this website stopped tomorrow, I would still be putting up articles and thoughts and so on. This is for my daughter and my granddaughter. That is who I am writing this for.
I am glad this site helps and teaches, but I know for a fact that my destiny is to have a family and make the world a better place through teaching them, and helping them make the decisions that will affect the world, not to do it directly myself. And I’m okay with that.
See, contributions that make a difference don’t have to be huge ones. A contribution that makes a difference is giving the food you may have eaten at a meal to the homeless shelter. THAT makes a direct difference in someone’s life. Going there and working for a day to help the shelter out makes even more of an impact. Giving to others makes a difference.
You don’t have to be Superman to make a difference or to have a grand destiny. Just by helping each other out on this planet, you can say that is a grand destiny.
But don’t EVER think that what you do is worth nothing or that what someone else does is a job that no one would miss if it disappeared. The people who wipe the phones have just as important a job as those who write the laws and those who assemble the chairs for others to sit in. Just because you bring a pizza to someone doesn’t mean you do a nothing job. And just because someone brings you the pizza does not entitle you to be rude to them. Understand that they have emotions, a heart, blood and a soul just like you do.
But remember, if you think you have some great overriding destiny to change the world, in a realistic sense, you probably don’t. If you keep doing what you are doing with little thought or regard for yourself while you are doing that job, you probably have something to offer that is more than what you think. And if you feel compelled to help a fellow human being out of the mud, then do so. But don’t ever mistake the dream with the actuality, or you will piss off those you are trying to reach.
Originally posted 2013-04-28 17:01:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter