Among life's strongest qualities, is the seemingly unbreakable ability to make us question every thought and action from day to day. Is everything just random coincidence or are there mysterious forces like what we refer to as destiny or fate at play? For simple acts of random chaos, the frequency of coincidence is overwhelming.

I will not be discussing any conspiracies, in detail, or delving into the paranormal, per se. A healthy way of life, I believe, is to ask those gnawing questions, to feel free to wander and wonder about the world around you, for the need to explore, and expand our horizons is inherent in human nature.

It was Einstein who said, "As a human being, one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists." Destiny and fate are man-made attempts to justify the way the world operates. Keeping this in mind, a recent news article caught my attention.

In a stunning event of destiny or chance, one pilot would face her worst nightmare

As Capt. Tammy Jo Shults (a Navy veteran and now commercial pilot) consulted with her husband about plans for her son's track meet, they resolved a scheduling conflict by trading flights. She had taken her husband's April 17 flight so that she could attend her son's sporting event.

This act would later lead to daunting questions about her destiny and the fate of the flight that day. On April 17, as agreed, Capt. Shults went over her normal checklist as pilot on a commercial airline. Everything was as expected until she approached cruising altitude, normally considered the smoothest and therefore safest time of the flight.

What was later described as a loud bang and following utter chaos and panic from the passengers, was the explosion of an engine resulting in engine failure.

The plane violently jostled back and forth after the explosion, causing pieces of the engine to barrel into the side of the aircraft. This dislodged one woman's window, resulting in her being partially sucked outside.

The cabin of the plane lost compression, causing the oxygen masks to drop from above. That signaled to the cockpit that the circumstances were becoming dire. They must land immediately. After about 20 minutes elapsed since the engine failed, they landed safely in Philadelphia with minor injuries. Unfortunately, the woman who was partially ejected later died at the hospital.

An explanation of the concepts of destiny and fate is simple in theory but complicated in practice

One woman lost her life on that flight. A strange and unexpected turn of events led to her demise but it truly turns to the morality of asking the big picture question. The question the deceased's family is asking: Why her among everyone else on that flight? Above all, we as humans, are compelled to look at these questions. If destiny was at play, that would dictate that everyone on that flight had been placed on an irreversible path to their individual outcome: survival, injury, death.

However, if fate has played its hand, that would mean that their individual outcomes were based on the path in life that they chose.

Let me be clear here, for it can be misinterpreted, I do not believe anyone deserves their demise but there are only a few things we can be truly sure of in life. The event of death is one. For who is to say that if Capt. Shults did not accept the schedule change that day, that the flight would have ended in complete and utter devastation. What if all lives would have been lost? What if her destiny was to save these lives? What if her decision to take her husband's place sealed this fate? Here is where the discussion gets complicated.

In terms of concepts like destiny and fate, there is simply no way to say one way or the other, whether or not these forces are definitively acting on our lives.

In concrete terms, there can never be proof because individual momentary circumstances could never be replicated for the purpose of experimentation. Hence, why these questions persist. Yes, some things seem random, but are they truly? We again wind up where we started, no proof on either side of the argument. Our inability to grasp the whole of the world around us leaves us with a big vessel overflowing with unanswered questions. Keep your mind open. For remembering what Einstein says, "The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."