I believe that destiny is more than an astrological reading; more than mere
genetic determinants; more than the socio-economic stratum into which one is born.
My parents were poor, by any measure of a numeric yardstick. Yet, they knew the
way forward which is so often alluded to of late. In 1956, they moved us from
Appalachia to Suburbia, on wing and prayer, with little more than a desire to
make a better life for their children. My father had no trade, no concrete job prospects,
a wife and two sons for whom to provide. So, he decided to become an electrician. He
had an eighth-grade education, was already entering middle age and knew little of the
theoretical background necessary to becoming a tradesman in the field he had chosen.
(Remember that word and its derivative, choice—I’ll come back to it .)
But he studied books and painstakingly learned about direct current, alternating
current, amperage, resistance and all of the other linguistic nuances of the electrician’s
creed. He became an apprentice at an age when most trades persons had already
established themselves and their families and had already begun to earn a living wage.
My brother and I watched this with little understanding of what was happening. He knew
more than I, of course, being nearly six years older than me…an early teenager, and
inquisitive on many counts. Even for brother Larry, the moment of what our parents had
undertaken did not come to fullness until many years had passed. Dad successfully
completed his apprenticeship and became a journeyman electrician—they carried
cards, you know—badges of honor and accomplishment. Mom and Dad had taken an
executive decision; had made a choice which would shape the destiny of us all.
I know it must have been frightful. He was the practical one, she the dreamer.
This is what we remember about them. I believe choice equals destiny. It may not
always be choice we make for ourselves, but it makes a demonstrative difference.
Would my brother and I have been who we are today, had our parents not taken
this leap of faith? Would we have grown to young men, gone to college, married
and become successful in our own right? I truly do not know. What I do know, however,
is that things would have been different. Not necessarily in a good way. Consider for
yourself choices you have made, choices made for you, choices which you did not
even realize you were making. Think then about whether destiny is written in the stars.
Your conclusions may surprise you.
I believe, no,better yet, I am certain of it: Choice equals destiny and both are
instruments of planning, conscious or otherwise. This is the First Permutation of Social
Infinity. In my book. Coming to your neighborhood bookstore soon.
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