Once upon a time there was a girl and a boy who were friends. They liked talking to each other about all kinds of things. Sometimes their thinking went along similar lines, but just as often they had quite different viewpoints. One day they had a debate about destiny and whether this idea had to be taken seriously or not, whether our lives were pre-destined, planned and "written out" before we are born or, at the latest, at birth.
The girl thought that this was rubbish and impossible; the boy wasn't so sure. "Who would make such a plan, who or what would decide how people would live their lives and what would happen to them!" said the girl. "I don't believe in God anyway, and certainly not in that kind of God!" she added heatedly. "I don't know what I believe", said the boy. "There are a lot of things that don't make sense if there is no God. But the old man who sits on a cloud makes no sense either..."
And so it went on and on, and in the end they decided to go and see a neighbour, a middle aged woman who spent her days painting abstract paintings and was quite successful as an artist. They liked to talk to her because she always took them seriously and never talked down to them. They found her in the garden, told her about their conundrum and asked her what she thought of it. The woman smiled. "You don't mess about with the easy questions, do you", she said. She was quiet for a while. "Well", she then said, "take an acorn for example. The plan for the oak is already there in the acorn. Whatever grows from the acorn will have to be an oak. It's its destiny to be an oak. If the young tree would decide to be, say, a conifer instead, maybe because it got the impression that conifers are better than oaks, it would get into serious trouble. It would never feel right; it might feel anxious or depressed or angry, and all because it tried to be something else than what it is supposed to be by its innate nature."
"Wow", the boy called out excitedly, "so destiny is about being true to our nature and that we get into trouble if we don't? Is that what you're saying?" "That's right", said the woman, "at least that's how I see it." The girl was deep in thought. "I think I know exactly what you mean", she said eventually. "Sometimes I feel that I'm not good enough the way I am and then I'm trying to be different, but it doesn't feel good." "No", said the woman, "it doesn't feel good, does it..."
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About Judith Schuepfer-Griffin
My name is Judith, and I'm writing in the way I do because I would like to make psychological thinking more accessible for everyone. I have noticed that it often helps to create a context within which new ideas make more sense. With my articles I'm trying to create that context and hopefully also an enjoyable reading experience.… Read more
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