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What is Fate?

Updated on March 10, 2008

Fate is the supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events, as well as the inevitable events predestined by this force. Those who believe in fate, believe (whether directly or indirectly) that their stay on earth has been decided long before they became a resident of said planet. So here we are, an insignificant blurb, on a planet not bigger than a speck of dust (in the grand scheme of things), hurtling (seemingly) endlessly through space, progressing towards some fate decided by the cosmos and therefore out of our understanding. We can, however, at least try to grasp what it truly means to accept fate and then determine whether or not to believe in it. So...

What does it mean to believe in fate?

According to the definition above, fate is a series of inevitable events. To believe in fate, you must believe or accept that you have no idea what is going on, but someone or something does. If you believe that the universe is guided by some unseen force with some form of an ultimate plan, whatever that may be, you have to accept that you don't understand that plan, you don't know that plan, and you'll never understand that plan. Religion simplifies these and many other principles of fate, but most religions still maintain one fundamental concept: we only know in part; no matter the extent of our spiritual enlightenment, we will never fully understand the higher power. Even though religion acknowledges that there are mysterious workings of a supernatural nature, many religions still allege to know how to determine one's fate; but how can you know. If fate is the belief in predetermined, inevitable events, why are there so many explanations, so many religions to elucidate it? Religion attempts to explain its own theory of existence, a theory of fate, but how can you explain the unexplainable?

Antony Garrett Lisi, an American-born theoretical physicist, believes our universe may look like the mathematical figure E8, above. What does that have to do with fate? Nothing
Antony Garrett Lisi, an American-born theoretical physicist, believes our universe may look like the mathematical figure E8, above. What does that have to do with fate? Nothing

The problem with believing in Fate

In the "real world" (meaning the one devoid of spirituality as it has come to define itself) the concept of fate is problematic. How can we not know what is going on, how can we not be in control? We have chronicled our progression from 3,000,000 years ago, we have discovered a clear link to the human species and animals, and we've developed theories that we know, with a high level of certainty, explain how the universe was conceived; so how do we not know what is going on? The answer to this is best put as a simile: Man believing he can explain away existence by understanding its components is as vain as believing that taking apart a watch will help you understand time. Science may be able to explain how things work, but they still can't explain how it came to be that way; even if say, the Big Bang Theory is true, what does that mean? There are theories to explain how the Big Bang Theory happened, and then once one of those theories is widely accepted there will be a theory of how that particular event happened (i.e. string theory, the universe being a hologram) and the cycle will run itself over and over again. We will have theories upon theories to explain what we still don't understand. The point is that in our modern world, with all that we know, it is difficult to believe that we know nothing, and thus to believe in fate.

To Believe or not to Believe

“The man, who knows something, knows that he knows nothing at all.” So are you ready to accept that all the knowledge in the world may be relatively useless? Are we as a society ready to have a conception of time that deals with the progression of the human species towards a collective goal? Believing in fate doesn’t mean that we are relegated to a life of simplicity, or that our actions don’t matter, quite the contrary, it means that are actions matter we just don’t understand how. That may sound depressing, but realize that life is in your hands, you can define your purpose. Whether or not that purpose truly matters is debatable, as well as whether or not any purpose can be better than another; but you can define the reason you like “being.” Other than that, you have no way of knowing specifically how you will influence the universe; you can only assume that if you live life passionately, pursuing a life dedicated to wisdom and not knowledge, that your effect will be positive. In this life, that may be as good as it gets.


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      DZ 2 years ago

      If something happens, it was fate.

      If it doesn't happen, it wasn't fate.

      Nobody can know what will happen, you can only think.

      Only when it happens, you know what the fate was.

      It's simple.

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      jeffrey 3 years ago


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      Mario Quiroga 4 years ago

      Hi! I'm Mario from Argentina (my English is not so good). Just suppose our fate is sealed, we still can make choices. I think fate is like destination; You start from A, and finish in B. But our higher purpose is not to find what our fate is, but the choices we make in between.

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      katie 4 years ago

      im 14 i dont know if i belive in fate im reading Romeo and julit but we have to do a paper so i picked can you fight your fate. like if i could fight my i would change my so i did not get abused.

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      geny 5 years ago

      there is fate

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      divyang 5 years ago

      yaeh human is the creator of his own fate.

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      mabo 5 years ago

      hi jkd

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      Lucia 5 years ago

      Last few years i had a dream where i met a guy i neva knew. After some year i had the dream i was on a social networking site and met somebody, i was chating with him. As time went on we started knowing each other though we have not seen physically. Now we are deeply in love with each other. All i saw in my dream is what is happening now between two of us. All the guy told me about himself and even his picture i saw on his profile, they were all same with all that hapend in my dream. So do i take it to be FATE. Please i need help. But i so much believe in FATE.

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      daniel 6 years ago

      i do think fate is true. But i think that if fate dus haping. U have a choie wot road u want to go down. I beleve that all have a pland life. But we all have the choce to change that path or road. And go down a difrent road if u want. u have meny rads to go down. It is just wot rode or path u take. And even if u go down the rong road. You still have the choce of going down a different one. it is up to u. just to let u no i am diclecsik and tried hard hard to right this out so pls excuse the speling ty. And i hope u all do well and pick the right road. {gl}

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      nerd1boy 6 years ago

      How about the accidents, we c0ncider it fate, or there's no accdent in this world?

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      Mohamed 6 years ago

      Really, I have nothing to say but I can't deny part of our life is not in hand or we do not have the power to dominate.

      innumerable things in our life seem beyond control and accordingly beyond understanding. We could believe in the unseen but we still feel we are very susceptible to certain events beyond interpretation. I think there is an omnipotent power that dominates the string of our life and the future to come. I think something obscure still in hidden relations with life.

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      EAmber 6 years ago

      What is Fate? Fate and the belief in a higer force are one, however, we are all given free will...we choose, decide and thus an outcome...FATE is that outcome.

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      Hollowed 6 years ago

      We all have our beliefs, some people turn to fate thinking that their lives are already set for them or that fate can be blamed for the wrong that has happened in their lives or the wrong that they have done to others. I personally don't believe in fate, because everything that happens, are based upon everyones choices, we choose to do right and wrong, we choose to be selfish or generous, we choose every move in our lives. Fate and coincidence are almost the same thing, it is just up to you to believe which one.

      (I said this in MY own opinion, I apoligize if others are offended by what i have said, butthis is what i think and believe.)

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      sackda 6 years ago

      Fate is just something you cannot control, but you still have control over a small portion of your own actions. When you where born that is Fate, no one has a choice to exist - it is random. We all have to just learn to appreciate the short life we have. Good or bad.

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      Juliet Roddy 6 years ago

      Uhm This guy i like went to a different school. We both confess to each other but we never went out. I never got his number to but i know how he look like. He left a 3 weeks ago and i was looking at my cross country scheduled and there is this county championship coming like around next month and its taking place at his high school is this fate?

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      Al Balce 6 years ago

      I believe in fate, I believe that everything is fated, everything has been predestined and predetermined in the past, be it yesterday or years ago, anything and everything we do and say and how we do and say them, what we eat, what we drink, what motion we make, how many centimeters our fingers move to the a certain direction, the number of light particles we take in our eyes, even how I write this comment and how you read it is fated, to me, everything is fated, we are jus controlled, meaning, we are just pointless beings, because we are nothing, we are just chess pieces that move on a certain bored, having only one player that controls everything, we are just puppets of destiny, being controlled to take actions, being commanded to occupy each second of our lives with action, even if that simple action is to blink, or to be silent, or to do nothing at all...

      Believing in fate helps me pass my daily life activities, it helps me do anything without hesitation, it leads me to think that if I were to die this next minute, and people would cry about it, it wouldn't matter, because I'm nothing, everything is valueless, so if I make a mistake in an exam, or if I accidentally or intentionally killed my parents, it wouldn't matter, because to me, nothing matters...

      Anything we do, anything we say is utterly pointless, because we are all just dolls already programmed to have something done, we are nothing, we are just controlled, if we were to achieve something, then it would be pointless because 1) we are nothing, so we can't achieve anything if we're nothing, and 2) it's not an achievement at all, it's just an item programmed to have come to us and didn't come to us because of our own hard work...

      The question is, who is controlling us? Is this FATE a person, or a group? And why is he controlling us? Is he playing with us just for fun, or to entertain other people who are in the same level as him in the higher stage? These questions cannot be answered for we are nothing, and if we WERE to know these answers, then those answers are not ours, we and those answers are just programmed to come to each other, we are of insignificant value, everything is meaningless, love is meaningless, our believing or fate or anything else is meaningless, and so, our lives are also meaningless...

      I apologize if any of you were offended with my statement, it's just my personal belief, well, if any of you were to hate me, then it wouldn't matter, because nothing matters...

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      littlegurl 6 years ago

      i'm 17. I'll be a senior this fall. and i don't really know what i believe. I believe in God. and i believe he has a plan for me and that it will all work out. but is that fate?

      I go to youth group. in the youth group we have our pastor, but we also have leaders who are like around the ages of 20-28. now you become a leader (if you want to) when you graduate high school. Leaders are not supposed to show feelings to the student. I don't understand why, but that's the rule my pastor set.

      I have two little sisters, our family gets invited to picnics and family get togethers at the babysitters house. Those people are just amazing. so nice and friendly, they make you feel like part of their family.

      Anyway, last September this guy became a leader in our youth group. he is 21. and so dorky, and adorable. and he is funny. and he loves God as much as i do. and he is everything i look for in a guy. BUT HE IS A LEADER NOW. oh and one more thing. he is the grandson of my sisters' babysitter. I have been head over heels for him for about 4 years now.

      The youth group just recently went to Tennessee as a missions trip. He was there, I was there. And i went up to him and said "What advice would you give to as student who likes a leader. a lot?" he didn't really answer the question. he just gave the answer "Leaders are not supposed to have feeling for students."

      Since we got home he hasn't been talking to me as much as he dis. actually wont talk to me at all other than "hi" or "thank you" or something like that. My best friend that i talk to about this says that maybe he just doesn't know how to handle things. but she also says i shouldn't have told him that in Tennessee. she says I should have waited one more year until I graduated.

      We are both very shy. and it is killing me how he wont talk to me. I can tell he is acting weird about this. and i hate it that i did this to him. i don't want him to feel like this. whatever he is feeling...confused or scared. I don't want to bring it up to him because if i try to push an answer out of him i would feel bad because obviously he doesn't want to talk. i don't know how to handle this. And it is not like we see each other only twice a week at church and youth group...we see each other just about EVERY DAY.

      I don't understand why I told him i liked him (well i do understand why.) BUT i am such a coward when it comes to my feelings. I didn't know i had the balls to tell him. was that fate? was it fate that we just happened to be in the same room alone that night when i told him. was any of it meant to be? are we meant to be? My friend says that he is not the one because if he was it wouldn't be hiding it that he likes me, he would just come out say say that he is as much in love with me as i am with him. but i don't believe that.he is very shy and he never talks about his feelings to anyone. i would know i used to be really close with him.

      can anyone explain what i should do, or what would be the "right" thing to do. or just explain fate to me. is this fate? i don't know but i know i need something. I pray about this all the time. but it has been almost 2 weeks since we got back and nothing as changed. I want my friend back!

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      Andries 6 years ago

      Fate and destiny are different in that destiny decides where it all ends for a soul, and fate determines the events that lead up to one's destiny. Am I right on that?

      I hope so, because I am totally convinced that we are all souls with a spirit and a body. When I am placed out of my body under the guidance of a beautiful angel, I can see my body and my yellow spirit, raying love. My soul is the only part of me that wants to go to that white light. The happy blue soul doesn't feel the need to merge with the body anymore, but I'm always amazed and overwhelmed by the massive amount of love that comes from the white light, and I like my soul. I'm guided back into my body, and find myself back in heaven again with the Lord and His team.

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      kateyladey 6 years ago

      In 1979 I was scheduled to go on a blind date that was setup by my brother. I needed to go to the ATM so I went to a grocery store close to my home. In the grocery store, I passed someone that I faintly recognized from high school (he too was going to use the ATM). 3 hours later I discovered the person at the ATM was my blind date! I married that blind date 5 years later- and we are still going strong after 27 years. Do I believe in fate, OH YES....

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      commonsense 6 years ago

      Free will seems to be the best argument against fate.

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      eva 6 years ago

      ijanuary 25 i met a guy we talked a bit then he invited me to have lunch with him asked me to come over to his place which we talked up a storm then we exchanged phone numbers and away i went when i got home i was wondering what his last name was so i looked at his phone number and he did write his last name so it turns out we went to the sam school and he was 2 grades lower than me 40 years this fate?

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      Joe 7 years ago

      sometimes things happen in life for a reason. It may seem like fate but it may not be. My best friend is a female, Indian and married. She would be my ideal person to marry and have a family with. I obviously couldn't have that with her but one night I am out by myself and another indian girl walks thru the door, looks just like her. I finally worked up the courage to talk to her and found out she is also gujarati and has the same last name. It was almost like god gave me my own Tejal Patel. She took my breathe away the minute I looked at her. We became friends and with her as my strenghth she made me feel like a man again. I completely feel in love with her. I still love her to this day..."UNCONDITIONALLY". There is only one problem, she has a boyfriend. She has been in this bad relationship with him for many years now and has very low self esteem. I truly believe that god brought both of us together for a reason but there are many obstacles. She her boyfriend who told her that she is a nobody and will always be last in his life over me, the man who really loves her. Is that fate?? I don't know. I haven't spoke to her in 6 months but I can't seem to get away from her. She is in my thoughts and dreams. I run into people we knew together, her friends and get this, I am out at a bar having a beer by myself, an indian guy sits next to and we start talking. He turns out to be her brother.

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      Joe 7 years ago


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      Patrick 7 years ago

      Fate is an uninformed action that is neither thought of or can be explained to happen to anyone for any reason or without reason that can make you a better person for reasons between you and GOD.Learning this will have the answers in the next life promised by GOD!,"that no question will go unanswered".Secretly(What is a better Person?)defined by GOD'S Law is the answer to Fate.

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      azhar saleem 7 years ago

      As a muslim i believe that the supreme power of universe is ALLAH......HE is the creator of universe fate.And we donot know that what's happen in the next second of our life....

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      mohsin ali mansehra pakistan 7 years ago

      i think there is a dual thing happening in life,i don't know if the concept of fact exist...............

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      brody mccain 7 years ago

      I might have the best story of Fate ever! If there were ever a story of Fate you better read this one ALL THE WAY through. I met a girl on a dating site, her name is Melody I'm Brody, take a look at the last 3 letters in our names. Wait! The best is yet to come. So we both like each other and have been very close now since meeting in 2009. Only after meeting do I finf an overlooked email from 2007 from her one night in a misplaced folder from her from 2 years before we met. I just somehow overlooked this email until after we met in 2009. I'm just warming up READ ON!

      NOw the best! So we break up and I need to win her heart back, so I sing her a song "Unchained Melody" and send this song to her in a link for her to listen, it wins her heart back to me, then the Very next day after she hears the song, shes on the waterfront at a festival with her friend and a boat is right on the water and the name on the boat "Unchained Melody"

      So we are on a silly website to find out who her celebrity soulmate is, what fun! We fill in the 27 multiple choice questionaire, hit the submit button her celebrity soulmate (just for fun mind you) comes back "Adrian Brody" My name is Brody. additionally at that very moment She the turns on her radio and the lyrics flooding out of the speakers at that very second is "I got a song that aint got no melody" right after finding out her celebrity soulmate is "Adrain Brody" Brody & Melody all true and real is that FATE?

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      Matt 7 years ago

      Hi, i have been asked by my teacher to research the idea of fate, how would you sum up the idea of fate?

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      Natalie 7 years ago

      Basiclly , your saying that we belive that whatever that happens was meant to be, and everything happens for a reason.

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      sohel mahmud sher  7 years ago

      @Ahmed: I don't know whether i can change my fate or not.In fact i am not really concerned about changing something which is not defined to me.Any future event doesn't exist until it happens.Man creates his own fate by his each second's activity.In principle God is all-knowing, so he must know what's gonna be created by man.In this sense, we can say Fate is fixed since God knows the future.And what God knows is always unchanged.

      That's why i am saying that Fate is a constant term for God. For us this is an unknown variable.We can design it by our own.

      @Anna: The story you told is like a co-incidence i guess.The guy somehow could not forget you and so was trying to search you for a long time.Finally he succeeded.Did you ask the guy why he contacted you after such a long period?

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      Anna  7 years ago

      how do you explain this......... i dated this guy 30 years ago. I have not seen him or spoken to him in 30 years. He found where I live and my number and contacted me after all these year. He is married and so am I . Is that fate? Or is it that he just wanted to find me? He lives out of state where I have been vacationing for the past 10 years. I find that weird

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      ahmed souhail 7 years ago

      you cannot change your fate

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      sohel mahmud sher 7 years ago

      Since God is the creator of time he should know everything from the beginning to the end.What he knows must be the absolute truth and inevitable.But for us we don't know what's gonna happen in the next second of our life.So actually fate is created by ourselves and God must know what we create since he is all-knowing.

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      Lennie 7 years ago

      well i believe in fate because my brother gave me a shirt that said mckays security in 08 christmas time. So i accepted this shirt and held onto it, to find out 3 months down the road of march 14 i ended up with a girl with the last name of mckay and today we are having a child due in june 9th. so now i know that i was given that shirt for a reason to become the protector of my new child coming to this world and for the girl i love to death and will not let nothing ever happen to them.

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      Dnomsed Ehguh 7 years ago

      I am going back to what Niall wrote about having a dream about a picture he saw. If one believes that the universe is everlasting, and that there are only a certain number of particles in this universe; then there are only a certain number of ways in which those particles can be arranged. Therefore, out there somewhere could have been you and that girl you're seeing, living in a happy relationship with each other, the same way you will, years into the future. This is a piece of logical thinking which gives proof to your question that you were meant to be with each other; you are already together, years into the future, in a parallel universe, you just don't know it...

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      josh noll 7 years ago

      i dont know what to believe?

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      Mark Mendoza 7 years ago

      Well im doing an essay on fate, and I'm in brainfart mode, by the time you read this I probably already failed the essay.

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      Doug Gibson 7 years ago

      Some things are FATE or predetermined, but not all. For instance, God predetermined the physical laws of this universe. That limits the range of our choices. But every society recognizes the need for laws or government. Law is based on the assumption that many of our actions are FREELY made choices. Actions that are not free choices are not subject to legislation or rewards or punishments. So God has predetermined rewards and punishments, but not our actions that merit them. If our actions were fated and absolutely foreknown, then rewards and punishments are unfair and nonsensical. Only free choices are moral actions. Neither does God make it the fate of some to go to heaven and the rest...get tormented. It he does, he would be a monster. Wouldn't it be a terrible thought if you predetermined to spend eternity being punished before you were even born?

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      Mike 7 years ago

      I don't know if the concept of fate exists, or if it's created to pacify people who believe it's better to live than to try to know everything, but here are my thoughts on the matter.

      The people that accept fate mean that if whatever happens in their life or to those around them, whether it be good that they saved an animal, or bad that they lost a loved one or had an abuse life, it doesn't define the future for them completely regardless of the current situation.

      An abusive man could grow up to be a great father, or someone who lost a loved one would learn to cherish what they have now and realize that life changes and the only thing to do is go along with it instead of mope or become negative to others. Or someone who grew in a good life could become an abuse person and never change; in the long run it's the actions that defines a person to either try to be better for themselves and others around them or be an inconsiderate prick.

      Fate sounds very broad to me and I don't think I like the idea of it, since I think things that happen around us is just that: things just happen, with no deep meaning of how or why, it just does. If there were no people to theorize fate, life would still go on with no concept or theory of this matter.

      Typing this now, I don't think fate exists; it sounds like a theory people create to pacify themselves if they don't know about something, such as why life was created, and believe that there is something special about it all. In the long run life goes on regardless of if it's fate or actions.

      For people who believe that it's fate if their loved one's die, it means they've accepted the circumstances; they realize they couldn't do anything to stop it since they never knew it would've occurred to begin with. Better to move on and cherish those still alive instead of beat yourself over something you had no idea would've occurred.

      But if you did play a hand in your loved one's death and planned it, then that's different.

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      LuLu 7 years ago

      I think that there is a dual-thing happening in life. Yes, You do have to take action to do the things you long to do, but in the long run, if it's not in your fate, it will not don't always have a sense of urgency. I do believe that we all have some some sort of "Book" that is written in the stars from the day we are born. We could be on Chapter 2 of our lives and Chapter 5 could be be glorious. Chapters 3 and 4, however, could be dificult. I guess it all comes down to trust and positive visualtion.

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      DhK.VIJAYA RAGHAVAN 7 years ago


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      Interesting 8 years ago

      See I do not so much believe in fate as I do "common energy".

      In the case of the tragedy for Susie's niece that is not fate but circumstance, albeit, a terrible one. I am sorry for you loss Susie.

      However, in relation to people...that is where common energy comes into play. Whether people want to believe it or not, it's a fact that our energy draws people...some more than others...and when people with a definite common energy hit..then there is the unexplainable magic....It's how you interpret this magic that decides what people want to call it...fate..destiny...but its all based on our energy...

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      jamie 8 years ago

      I have to write a paper for class, it's about what I would wish for if I could only have one wish. I was wondering if you could help me explain to me if one wish would change others peoples fates, because thats what I was thinking. I think that if you wish for something that could impact your life different, your fate and others could change, though I am kinda confused on the whole fate thing. Could you help me out?

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      dougie bendal 8 years ago

      i need to poop, is this fate?

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      Niall 8 years ago

      I woke up one morning knowing i had a dream about something but i couldn't remember what it was. A few weeks later i was on a social networking site and i started talking to a girl i didn't know personally. We were talking away to eachother and next of all we both knew we lived pretty close. So time passed on that day and i was talking to other people and i thought of writing to her again. I clicked on her profile and i looked at her picture and just frozed with shock. I was thinking to myself 'no i didn't just see that'. I closed my eyes and opened them again and the picture was still there. The dream i had that night showed me a picture and it was the same one as the girl i was talking to had up. At that moment i remembered everything i dreamnt about that night after looking at this picture. Since then we have noticed a lot of things in common and we have been getting on really well. We have only been talking for a couple of months and it feels we have been talking for years. Is this fate and do we belong together?

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      peter 8 years ago

      does putting tattoo have anything to do with fate

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      liz 8 years ago

      If our lives are pre-determined does not mean that my life has been set to live a life alone? my mother was abusive and let others abuse her children. I had to take in my sisters to keep them from harm and now I have separated from all of them because I did not want to hurt anymore. Does that mean this was planned for me to do this?

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      Clara-bell 8 years ago

      im 15yrs not sure if i beleive in fate, im doing an assignment on Romeo and Juliet, and who is to blame for the two deaths...i got picked to do fate, and this has helped me quiet a lot, but im still at a loss what to think, when its sooo much to take in...

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      ofrjlrnr 8 years ago

      tang ina

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      steven 8 years ago

      Hello susie

      I belive that before you come forth down into your psyical body you have a choice to live your full life are not.will any way no matter you niece is happy were she is and looking down on you with a smile on her face so be happy.Lifes good and a well belive to its what you make of it i no that you own life lies in your hands.What you think about you bring about look into the laws of the universe and you will find more.

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      Susie 8 years ago

      My niece moved to Arkansas to be close to her mother. She got a job working for Cal Trans and was picking up trash along a roadway one day. Two people in a truck just got lunch a taco bell. While eating lunch and driving down the road "the driver dropped lunch in her lap a the same moment my niece was on the side of the road". She was struck by the truck and killed. Was this fate?