Destiny Or Destination
THE GODS ARE NOT TO BLAME!
‘’The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.’’ –Ralph Waldo Emerson
‘’I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you, life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore chose life, that both thou and thy children may live.’’ –Deuteronomy 30:19
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘’the only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.’’ Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it a thing to be achieved. In his legendary book JULIUS CEASAR, William Shakespeare said, ‘’men are often the masters of their fate, the fault O dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings.’’ The philosophy of destiny has made so many people to be complacent and deceptively believe that no matter what we do or don’t do, there is a future waiting for us! This is a fallacy that the earth has endured and has destroyed the future of many. I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the road! The future is not what we wait for; rather the future is what we create now.
“Our choices determine our destiny” – A.R. Bernard
We must not be driven by the complacency to wait for the future but rather with the drive to create our own future. We must refuse to live as hostages to fate! No wind favors him who has no destination. Your destiny is not a future that is uncertain; your destiny is not a future that you are ignorantly waiting for. Your destiny is your choice, your destiny is your decision and most importantly your destiny is your destination. Melic McGraw said, ‘’I do believe that one way to have a destiny is to choose one.’’ The bible is filled with the stories of destination more than destiny! We are not creatures of circumstances; we are creators of circumstances.
Long time ago, there was an old man who lived in a tiny village and was well known for his wisdom. It seemed that he could answer any question that was posed at him. And there was a boy who had questioned the wise man for few times just to trick and prove the old man can be wrong. But he hadn’t been successful until one day he found another idea. He would hold a little bird in his hand and hide it behind his back. He would then ask the wise man whether the bird in his hand was dead or alive. Regardless of the wise man’s response the young boy had a winning approach; if the wise man says that the little bird is alive, the boy will squeeze hard to kill the bird to prove that he is wrong. On the other hand, if the wise man says that it is dead, the boy will let the bird fly off, proving that the wise man is wrong. So, either way the wise man will be wrong. The boy thought that it was his time to shine! As he approached the wise man, he said, “Old man, there is a bird in my hand. Is it alive or dead?” The old man was quiet. The boy asked again, “Old man in my hand is a bird. Is it alive or dead?” Still the old man said nothing. The boy for the third time asked again, “Old man in my hand is a bird. Is it alive or dead?” Then finally the old man gave his answer with a low but firm voice saying, ‘’whether the bird is dead or alive, it is in your hands!’’
‘’Destiny: a tyrant’s authority for crime and a fool’s excuse for failure.’’ –Ambrose Bierce
In life, it is either you are a victim of fate or a victor through your determination. The story of the Nigerian football legend, Kanu Nwankwo is an inspiring story of the uncertainties of life, fate, determination and the supremacy of human courage. Kanu, went through the vicissitudes and vagaries of life to surmount protracted challenges. William Irwin Thompson said, ‘’if you do not create your destiny, you will have fate inflicted upon you.’’ Kanu’s undaunted nature proves the fact that; at any given moment, you alone have the power to say: this is not how my story is going to end!
“Destiny is the invention of the cowardly, and the resigned” –Ignazio Silone
Nwankwo Kanu, OON, was born on the 1st of August 1976 in Owerri, Nigeria. He began his career at Nigerian League Club Federation works, before moving to Iwuanyanwu Nationale. Kanu was a member of the Nigerian national team from 1994 to 2010, making his debut in a football friendly against Sweden. Earlier on at the start of his career, Kanu was instrumental in Nigeria’s overall success at the 1993 FIFA U-17 tournament in Japan and their subsequent 2-1 victory over Ghana in the final. His major breakthrough for the national team came with winning the Olympic gold in the football event at 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where he scored the winning goal in the 4-3 Semi-final win over Brazil.
Papilo, as he is fondly called by fans is arguably Africa’s most decorated football player, with a large collection of accolades and awards. Kanu has won a UEFA Champions league medal, a UEFA cup medal, three FA cup winners’ Medals, Olympic gold medal and two African player of the year awards (1996 and 1999). A major turning point in Kanu’s life came in the aftermaths of the Olympic victory in 1996, Kanu moved to Inter Milan football club where he was discovered to have a heart defect during medicals. It was a situation that shocked the entire nation and continent. Medical diagnosis and medical experts’ reports validated the fact that his glory sojourn will have to be brought to an abrupt end. Kanu endured a vast number of predictions from soothsayers and seers, but he persevered. He underwent the delicate surgery and was totally determined to return to his football career, defying medical and experts’ verdicts. Though, it seemed that the end of his career was imminent; Kanu, however, rebounded to life and went on to become one of Africa’s greatest footballers.
“It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped” –Anthony Robins
Kanu’s evolution became unstoppable as he went from AFC Ajax, to Inter-Milan, to Arsenal FC, West Brom and Portsmouth FC. Extremely moved by his experience, Papilo decided to put his money where his heart was. That decision culminated in the birth of the Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF), a non-profit organization that has saved hundreds of heart defective children and has brought hopes to many families.
In 2014, the Federal Government honored 100 notable Nigerians with centenary awards as part of Nigeria’s centenary celebration and Kanu Nwankwo was amazingly one of the awardees. He was named among reputable Nigerians and former Nigerian leaders like; General Ibrahim Babangida, General Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, General Abdusalam Abubakar and the current President, Muhammadu Buhari.
One of the most amazing athletes, Usain Bolt had this to say when he had broken all imaginable records to become the fastest man ever, ‘’I told you all that I was going to be number one and I did just that.’’ I believe strongly that at any given moment of your life, you have the power to say; “this is not how the story is going to end!” To live a fulfilling and impactful life, you have to be more interested in you getting to your destination than you waiting for an uncertain destiny!
I want to use this platform to advice the Nigerian youths to stop focusing obsessively on an imaginary destiny; watch your decisions, guide your choices and fulfill your purpose. Also, to all the youths going through seemingly impossible situations, don’t ever give up! ‘’Destiny is for losers.
It is just a stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.’’ –Cecily Von Ziegesar
Gbenga Adebambo is the dean of schools at the Educational Advancement Centre (EAC), an author, youth specialist, international coach and the Editor-In-Chief of MAXIMUM IMPACT MAGAZINE. He is also the founder of the youth ministry called STOP ‘T’(Seeing Tomorrow’s Opportunities and Potentials Today), a ministry that is involved in discovering and nurturing hidden potentials in youths in order to equip them for tomorrow’s challenges, opportunities and responsibilities.