“You believe a man can change his destiny?” “I believe a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed”.

Destiny, much like fate, is a strange concept. For me, the Latin phrase “Omnia Causa Fiunt” has always been something I have followed. For the uninitiated, the translation is “everything happens for a reason”. For someone that doesn’t believe in God, this is the closest I have to faith. It’s something that in the darkest of times gives me hope. Like my current situation. I keep telling myself that it’s all happening for a reason. What that reason is I’ve yet to learn. I may never learn it. But my faith in destiny keeps me sane if anything.

If it’s not clear by now my titles will be film quotes that hopefully you’ll recognise and will draw you in. Todays is from The Last Samurai (2003). Another film that disappeared quietly on release and is rarely thought of when thinking of great Tom Cruise films. As a 16 year old watching it for the first time in 2003, it spoke to me in ways that it probably didn’t to many others. The themes of honour, respect and culture have allowed me to grow into an adult that follows these themes, living a life that honours the lives of others, respects their choices and embraces all cultures. I have no hate in my body. I watched this at a time when I had lost my way, and it helped me find it again. Yes, even at 16 you can lose your way. I always was an old head on young shoulders but not knowing what kind of man I wanted to be or life I wanted to lead definitely constitutes losing my way. It helps that it has a script littered with quotes that I remember on a regular basis.

“There is life in every breath”. Worth remembering sometimes that you’re still alive and even though things may seem bad, you still have a life to live. I always took the quote “The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your whole life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life” as one about love. About finding the person that you would happily spend your whole life looking for. I have to remember that I found my blossom. That I didn’t need to spend my whole life looking for it, I just have to spend my whole life cherishing the fact that I already have it. Never to take it for granted and to relish it.

My favourite scene comes midway through the film. Cruise’s character stands up to one of his captors in the rain, fighting with wooden swords. He’s trying to earn his respect, and for every hit he takes, he continues to get back up until he can’t any longer. It’s a powerful scene with a sweeping score and serves to remind me that I can get put down again and again, but I can always get back up. Following this he asks his captor what it is he wants from him. “What do you want for yourself?” comes the reply. Another lesson which almost makes me wish to have been born a samurai. You have to make things happen for yourself. Fortune favours the brave, those who take risks and don’t wait around for things to happen for them. So I’m going to make my own luck. Yes, things happen for a reason, but if I do nothing then nothing will happen. Tomorrow I have a big interview. I’m jobless 18 days now, and this is the only interview I have. But if I don’t get it that’s OK. Because there’s a reason why. Coming to terms with not always knowing the reason can be difficult. But that’s where faith comes into play. I just need to live my life. The films I have chosen to watch this past week have been the best form of therapy I could think of. The anxiety has mostly passed and I’m more focused now. Hopefully I can persist with living each moment the best I can and enjoying the life I have, so that at the end of my life, much like the end of The Last Samurai, when anyone asks “tell me how he died”, someone will answer “no. But I will tell you how he lived.”

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