Here's a scene from the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button that encapsulates this concept quite explicitly:
In this scene, Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) remarks "Sometimes we're on a collision course, and we just don't know it." This is very true. It's not as if the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were aware of the fate that they would meet that day. They would have woken up in the morning, had breakfast, kissed their spouses and children, and walked out the door for another routine day. Little did they know that they would never return home to their families. Even more applicable to this notion of fate is the decision made by the people who caught the planes that were to be hijacked. Perhaps some people would have been alive today if they didn't desire an earlier flight. It's not their fault though; our world should be one where people feel safe to catch any plane. Unfortunately, we do not live in such a world. Our world is infested with some despicable beings, who I find it difficult to label as human.
We also hear Benjamin describe life as a series of intersecting lives and incidents, out of anyone's control. The truth is that we can in fact have control over our lives, however, there is only so much that we alone can determine. For example, I have control over whether I want to go to the video store. However, I do not have control over whether the DVD I desire is available or not. Perhaps it was hired ten minutes before I got there, and maybe I would have made it in time if it weren't for a car accident disturbing the flow of traffic. When I think of intersecting lives, I imagine what the world would be like if everyone just stayed in bed for a day. Would civilisation collapse? Perhaps, a little. I also think about who my parents are. I am the son of Henry and Sue Savona, but it could have been different. I often think how lucky I am to be a human being. I could have been born as an animal...something as insignificant as a fly, or even a gnat.
When I consider this notion of intersecting lives and incidents, and the inner complexities of life, I am also reminded of Neil Finn's song Anytime. Finn wrote the song after witnessing his beloved dog almost get run over by a bus. Here are the complete lyrics to this beautiful song: