May's (1981) model of the role of environment in human development included three types of environmental limits imposed on an individual.


The word "imposed" signifies that the environmental factors are beyond the individual's control; thus he called these limits "destiny":

(1) Cosmic Destiny refers to the limits imposed by the laws of nature, such as climate into which a person is born, as well as the person's heredity and biological processes;.

(2) Cultural Destiny refers to the limits imposed by pre-existing social patters, such as the language, economic systsm, technology, social practices, and values of one's culture; and

(3) Circumstantial Destiny refers to the limits imposed ny sudden situation that include cosmis and/or cultural aspects, such as hurricane, an accident, or a poor economy that leads to a cut in pay or unemployment.

May emphasized that even if a person cannot control the three aspects of destiny, each person is responsible for how one responds to them by virtue of the ability to recognize and exercise one's available options, actions and attitudes. For example, with the recent poor economic crisis (Circumstantial Destiny), I lost my job due to budget cut. Although I did not contribute to my loss of job, I continued my life along with new choices. I can choose to sit at home or I choose to search for a new job. If I sit at home, it was my choice and not the fault of anybody else. How one response to destiny characterizes one's "Dasein - one's unique was of being.

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