Oedipus Rex :
In ancient Greek society they believed that one’s life is predestined and that one’s fate is sealed. What is meant to occur will happen no matter what that person does. In Oedipus Rex Oedipus’ fate is doomed from his birth because of the actions of his ancestors. Unlike Oedipus most people today don't believe in predestined fate. People can be all they want to be regardless of their background or the circumstances of their lives. However some people don't realize that they are in charge of their own live and can make conscience decisions to change the course of their lives.
One of Oedipus' ancestors committed a terrible act of rape some time ago. This behavior obviously didn't please the gods and thus they punished Oedipus' family for several generations. When Iocaste and Laios gave birth to Oedipus they were aware of the prophecy that he would one day kill his father and then marry his mother. With this in mind they tried to have Oedipus killed to avoid this horrible fate. However they couldn't kill him themselves because murder of their own son would get the gods angry all over again. So they tried to get someone to take Oedipus out to the mountains and let him die of natural causes. Some people might argue that they are still indirectly responsible for the death but apparently the Greeks only considered it bad if you were directly responsible for the act of murder. The problem is that this person never left Oedipus on the mountains as he was instructed to and therefore Oedipus never died. So Iocaste and Laios go on living worry free thinking that they outsmarted the gods and avoided their horrible fate, but it will catch up with them soon enough. They can't change their fate, there is no way to avoid what the gods already decided will happen.
No matter what Iocaste and Laios tried to do to avoid their fate the gods would do something to make sure that it didn't change their final fate. Many of us today would argue that this is very unfair. Oedipus didn't do anything to deserve this type of punishment however he will pay for the crime of his ancestors. And there is nothing that he can do to prevent this from happening. He is basically cursed for life. His fate is sealed.
Unlike Oedipus, we can change our fate. We can do what we want with our lives. As our Army tells us BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE. There are more opportunities than ever for us to promote our standard of living and increase our place in society. It's true that there is a lot of prejudice and discrimination in today's society that many people still have to struggle to overcome. We very often judge other people by what race or ethnic background they belong to or simply on their general appearance, gender or age. Society also holds a lot of things against you. If you ever had a criminal record it will make it very difficult for you to get a high rank job. If you ever used drugs or were an alcoholic people sometimes assume that you are still messed up even if you have been clean for some time. But despite all this it is still very much up to us what we do with our lives. If we choose to go to college and get a good education there are many ways that we can go about receiving financial assistance if we need it. Despite all the discouragement we may get from today's society there is also a lot of encouragement and assistance available to us if we are willing to work for it.
Our fate is not sealed. There are no barriers on our life or on what we are capable of doing. I personally believe in the statement that all things are possible if you put your mind to it. When you are really determined to achieve a goal that you have set for yourself it is possible to overcome any obstacle. Sometimes people try to predict their fate or other people’s fate. But very often they can be wrong. People change, their values change, and their plans for the future change. No one's future is engraved in stone. Sometimes a student in high school may be voted most likely to succeed and turn out to be a failure. Or the student that shows little promise in school may turn out to be a huge success. One can never tell.
Social Mobility is one reason people move to this country from other countries with more rigid social structures. We've all heard the phrase The American Dream. The ability to be able to turn one's life around and move up the social ladder is something this country prides itself on. This country was made strong and wealthy by people coming from other countries and turning their lives around. If it wasn't for people who wanted to change their fate and build a better life for themselves this country wouldn't even exist today.
Sometimes people reach a point in their lives where it seems as though they no longer have any choice in their lives. They may have made a really bad decision or perhaps just ran into a very unfortunate course of events. But the fact remains that anything can happen. You never can tell for sure how a particular course of events will turn out. Very often its people’s mentality that makes them think that they can't be any more than they are right now. They start to tell themselves that they will never amount to anything more than what they are right now. They start to limit their options because they feel that they aren't smart enough or talented enough to follow through with their ideas. It's this sort of thinking that makes people think that their fate is predestined, when in reality they have many options open to them. And many different ways to change their lives. Instead of telling themselves OH I'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO DO that they should tell themselves "Sure, I can do that if I put my mind to it".
Oedipus' fate was sealed. Unfortunately for him he was cursed from birth. There was nothing he could do that would change the final outcome of his life. Our fate, however, isn't sealed. We can change the course of our lives and we can change our destiny. Nothing is certain. We should take advantage of this by making the most of our lives. We shouldn't just go with the flow and take what is given to us. We should keep trying to achieve more and more until we reach our goals.
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