Manifest Destiny the doctrine, in my opinion, is responsible for the position and power that United States of America enjoys in this world. If I have to explain the word or phrase that comes to my mind, the moment one says America, it is this. It was responsible for the American’s pursuing with a single minded zeal the expansion of its territory from coast to coast. I have written more about it here.
I am also fascinated how this phrase means more than that. It is a philosophy to indicate that we manifest our own destiny. It is not in the hands of anyone, not a God, not our parents, not our environment. It is in our hands and our hands alone. We will it, we do it and then we are destined for the results. We manifest our own destiny.
An amazing concept when practiced. It puts the ownership of our life in our own hands. We are not by standers any more. We are not pawns in the play of fate. We are in the center of action called life. Has the American or the western way of life been shaped by this or vice a versa.
It puts the responsibility, but it also puts a lot of pressure on us to succeed, to perform. This pressure to do so, relentlessly and taking ownership of the same, has in addition to the benefits, its own share of problems. It can put extreme pressure when things do not go the way one desires. There is no solace as there is the total accountability on the self. The intent, the effort and the process are secondary to the result. The premium for failure in this kind of society is high.
Own it up, live it up, give everything you have. But if in the corner case when they do not turn the way you want them to, do not beat yourself up. Let us intend what we want, let us all work for what we want and at the same time believe in a power greater than ourself. Occasionally it helps to put things in perspective. This is the oriental way of thinking – the tryst with destiny. This helps to bring equanimity in our lives to accept the highs and the lows, the bad and the good, the success and the failures.
Strangely these two phrases are so intertwined with two lands that I am fortunate to be part of. India, my birth country and America my adopted one. One country that gave me the foundation to build my dreams on and another that provided the means to build them. One that shows the karma of destiny and another that puts focus on the karma of duty.