(May 30, 2006)
Life is full of unexpected surprises. There are many opportunities when one can secretly wish for something exciting to happen – something out of the ordinary. The real surprise is when the wish unexpectedly comes true. I never believed that something like this could ever happen to me; such a thing that would make me stop and look back at the events in awe. I think you would agree that something as simple as being lost in the forest for less than ten minutes should have no influence on my life. If you do agree, that makes both of us wrong.
Throughout my childhood, I loved the wild. My family and I would always go for a walk in the downtown forest of Coote’s Paradise. There were many times I thought of what could happen if we were to lose our way from the trail and have to live off of the land until we found our way back to civilization. I thought it would be the greatest experience ever.
As my brothers and I grew older, we continued to go for these walks with our parents but the dreams of living in the forest I soon forgot. That’s when it happened. We decided to take a different path off the main trail. Before I knew it, the path had disappeared and no one in my family could tell where we had come from. It was so unexpected. It gave me a feeling of excitement that can’t be described. Everything in the forest seemed different. The trees were a deeper shade of green. The birds chirped in a different tone. Vines covered almost every inch of the ground. One part of me never wanted this moment to end. I felt completely free from the stress of my life outside of the woods. It was this moment that I realized that I would much rather stay here for the rest of my life than go back to society.
I think that another reason that I felt carefree was because my parents didn’t panic. They took the situation under control and headed for any open area in hopes to find a map (many of these maps were found throughout the grounds, telling you where you were). From my point of view, at the time, it seemed as if they were excited as I was about losing our way. In the end, it only took my parents ten minutes to find such a map and we were back on the trail in no time.
An experience like this made me think about my place in life. I’m the type who loves seeking out adventures. When we were lost, I realized that I had everything I would ever need with me – my family. They’ve always supported me in everything I do. This experience made me realize that families need to stick together; you don’t realize how much you need them until, for a moment, you think they’ll be the last people you see for the rest of your life.
It’s incredible how much a simple thing like being lost in a forest for ten minutes will affect your outlook on life. Things like not being able to find your way back to where you came from make you appreciate the little things in life. Looking back on the day, I realize now that it was fate. Moments like that are few and far between and should be taken as a lesson. Surprises like this were, and always will be, an unexpected gift for all.
Fortune telling refers to the prediction of the future of an individual by supernatural or mystical means.
Fortunetellers or soothsayers use specific methods to foretell the future (distant or nearer) of a person by using the information provided by the person and extrapolating it with specified results to conclude the possible happenings of the future; however this method is subjective and most often events are totally opposite to what was predicted.
The History of fortunetelling goes back to 5000 years when special clairvoyants were hired for the Kings and clergymen to predict the most suitable strategies for them. Nevertheless, fortunetellers soon lost respect and popularity during the rise of Reason in the 17th and 18th century.
In Europe, fortunetelling was considered a sin, therefore it was legally forbidden, and civil laws were passed that forbade its practice completely. However, its popularity increased with years as people began to practice it unlawfully, and even now, despite the legal limitations, celebrities and politicians are observed to consult a fortuneteller for making decisions.
In Chinese society, Fortune telling is considered an important part of social and business culture and a large number of methods (typically devised by Chinese grand masters) are used to predict nearer future in the Chinese year.
In the African-American society, it is practiced without any prohibition, and a modern method of casting bone and hoodoo (magical coaching) is popular because of the accuracy of its results.
Common methods used for fortunetelling are astromancy, Tarot reading (card reading), crystallomancy (reading crystal sphere), pendulum reading, contumacy, horary astrology, and spirit board reading, which come from the old Roman and gypsy methods.
Another form of fortunetelling is the spiritual consultation, in which no specific methods are used; rather, the practitioner gives the subject advices, which come from the spirits or in visions.
In addition to predicting the future, modern future tellers also give psychic readings, which use methods such as numerology, graphology, palmistry and astrology to help people solve their problems.
In the contemporary society, Women are seen more often than men are, to consult the fortunetellers to help them in romantic, financial or studious matters, which are shown by the excessive advertisements in magazines aimed at women.
Businesspersons consult fortunetellers for predicting their future investments, and profits. Most people approach psychic readers to help them understand their inner-self, or most often predict the future of their married life or their compatibility with their spouse.
Moreover, modern soothsayers have opened their websites or they are registered with the websites and TV channels such as MSN astrology and astrology.com where spiritual-strength-seekers are given attractive offers of free psychic reading, compatibility test, or even death tests and therefore, fortune telling has become a big source for commercial gain.
Apart from this, still in many countries, face reading, palm reading, physiotherapy, and 'Bazi' are used by the street fortune tellers as the basic source of their income, where internet psychology is still unpopular, because of its expensiveness.
On the other hand, religious scholars consider it unlawful and against the religious doctrine.
Christian and Islamic followers believe that fortune telling is an open challenge to God and that it is clearly forbidden in Bible. Islamic scholars object to its practice by stating that the knowledge of the future and the power to make future is in the hands of God, and it is against the Islamic laws to try to predict future although it is stated as a true knowledge in Quran.
In addition, people against it justify its unlawfulness by saying that it may be merely a way of reducing anxiety among people or a source of entertainment and because predictions usually use vague terms, they never lend themselves to falsification.
A fortuneteller may also be used by some biased political forces to appeal to the decision to be made.
Despite its unreliability, Fortunetellers have so far been successful in convincing people to use future prediction to control the inevitable events in their life.