Saturday, May 14, 2016


From 1968 to 1973 comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin hosted the weekly comedy variety series on NBC called “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In”.
         Each week the, two presented an award for the most dubious achievement; the dumbest, craziest news item of the week. The “Flying Fickle Finger of Fate” Award was also called the “Rigid Digit”, the “Winged Weenie”, the “Friendly Phalange”, the “Nifty Knuckle” or the “Wonderful Wiggler.” The award was a Gold/Silver sculpture of a hand with its index finger pointing, adorned with two small wings. It rotated in a circular “Whoopie!” circular motion. Recipients included the City of Cleveland whose Cuyahoga River caught fire (due to pollution), The Pentagon (5 times), and L.A. Police Chief Ed Davis who wanted to install gallows so that hijackers could be more easily hung. (
         Esquire Magazine ran “Dubious Achievement” awards annually for many years. You can Google that title and come up with some laughers which many people post online.
         Here’s what others have said about “Fate.”
“Meaning is invisible, but the invisible is not contradictory of the visible: the visible itself has an invisible framework, and the in-visible is the secret counterpart of the visible.” M. Merleu-Ponty, Working Notes[JY1] [JY2]  (The Soul’s Code, James Hillman, pg. ix)
“Nature magically suits a man to his fortunes, by making them the fruits of his character.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“He that waits upon fortune is never sure of a dinner.” Benjamin Franklin
“Fortune knocks at every man’s door once in a life, but in a good many cases the man is in a neighboring saloon and does not hear her.” Mark Twain
Are you living your fate or destiny?
     Some will say there is no such thing. It is all coincidence. That our brains are hard-wired to look for meaning. This is all superstition. Baseball teams are not “fated” to lose. Or win.
Or, is it actually possible that fate is an agent that changes everything? Is it “fate” which causes my paramedic son’s ambulance to arrive the moment before it is too late to save a life, and fate which causes him to arrive a moment too late? Or are heavy traffic here, light traffic there, the elements of fate?
Fate has been called the “guardian angel” who at the last moment saves the child from plunging into the swimming pool. The Ancient Greeks called fate “Okemah” and described it as the being which carries you like a vehicle.
Others have called Fate “Lady Luck” or “Fortuna”. To Eskimos and others who follow shamanistic practices, fate is your spirit, your free soul, animal soul, your breath soul.
Some call it luck. What would you call it when a person in a trailer in Kansas and a tornado rolls through and they survive despite the fact that everything around them is totally obliterated? Luck, right? Fate, right? But, are the people who live in Oklahoma “lucky” over and over again when the tornado goes just over there? Are they now unlucky because of fracking earthquakes or does “fate” have anything to do with that?  I like the Forest Ranger who has been struck by lightning 6 or 7 times and lived to tell about it? Maybe they’ll live to tell about hundreds of tremors a week and their survival will the the amazing thing.
The reality is that we believe that fate is a quality of being a part of our lives. Fate is something else which cannot be explained by the physicality of life. There is more to our lives then meets our eyes. That’s what humans believe, don’t let any smart phone tell you different. It is more fun and rich to live a life which has the random and unexplained in it.
Even mediocrity can be a “fate”, right?  It once was attributed to the “stars”. Here’s Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well”: “We, the poorer born, whose baser stars shut us up in wishes…” Shuts us up in wishes. Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda.
Mediocrity. Poor choices. Does fate make those poor choices, or do I? Do we blame “fate” for our stupidity? Yes. I can tell you that. Some people, let me raise my hand here, risk to draw on an inside straight in poker, ignore symptoms in cancer (hand down), drive drunk (hand down). We choose. Not fate. Duhh.
Each individual has genius, their own unique selves. Now we’re at the good stuff!
But, genius belongs to everyone and no person has all the genius or can be the only genius. What? But, I’m special, right?
Genius may be an invisible escort for a whole group of people. That family. That band. That team. That school. Those gals. They know how to do it. They are special. Unique. More than just one person in whom genius or character lives.
If you are fated you know that it is not you that makes these “fateful” things happen. But, when it comes to genius, we seem to claim our genius because we are special! Oh, sure!

The “Flying Fickle Finger of Fate” sometimes points at you and sometimes points away. It is important for you to look at your life and to understand that there have been moments when fate has visited you and was with you. Maybe saved you. Something impossible happened.
You should look at your children and imagine that they and their lives will have moments of fate in which things will become radically different and they themselves will be able to release their own genius, or sink back into depression and despair. It can go either way.
Fate wants you to know you can work with luck, fate, destiny - work with others and help them understand that they have gifts beyond belief locked in their little souls.
The intention is to broaden your view of life so that you will not give up hope so that you know that your genius in the right place and time can work miraculous things, can lift the sinking spirit.  So that, when you least expect it, that winged weenie, wonderful wiggler and nifty knuckle will appear for you.

© Copyright 2016, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

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