The goddess Athene told Prince Telemachus, son of King Odysseus, how lamentable it is that men should blame the gods and regard them as sources of their troubles when their own acts cause more troubles than Destiny allots them. It is your own efforts, she said, that will redound to your credit and final equilibrium of one’s life account. Nevertheless, she reminded that while singular events may be unfolding and should your native Wit fail, heaven will inspire you.

I have tried to remember and to follow what she suggested because the advice is so correct. Not singly must we blame Fate for shortfalls or worse; we should appreciate that what we do undertake has its consequences perhaps as rationally it should.

It is seemly to be engaged in and accountable for one’s actions, whether taken or not. And yet and not contradictorily we should gracefully accept counsel when there, and whether or not asked for. Equally, we should “man up” when matters take a sour turn, taking remedial, corrective measures- when possible.
But beyond a wholesome discipline, I hope you and I can be warmhearted to ourselves. We should be gentle, as so beautifully expressed in the 17th century Desiderata prayer, enjoying achievements as well as plans and nurturing strength of spirit to shield us in sudden misfortune because no doubt, so many believe, the universe is unfolding as it should.

In sum, it may be best were we not “to blame” and instead “to do”, taking action rather than seeking an excuse, even fate, to explain outcome. As well, we should hear and consider “advice” apart from one’s own counsel. And finally, when in spite of all, things go wrong, it will be good to learn and not to be hard on oneself because in a grand design of things, finally all will be as it was meant to be, advice of the goddess notwithstanding – perhaps?