I like to map out the topics for this blog ahead of time and jot the proposed titles into a small day planner booklet. The funny thing is, that today’s topic is not only titled serendipitous, an incident of serendipity manifested to provide a handy example.
In the continuing process of liquidating property in dad’s estate, I needed to sell his last car. I drove the car home in order to clean and detail it for a prospective buyer, an acquaintence I visit from time to time. Her car had been totally wrecked in a recent crash so I offered the car to her at a reasonable price.
It turned out that the car is too small for her needs, but she told a mutual acquaintence about the vehicle. This friend then wanted to see the car. She acted as an agent for her daughter who decided to purchase it as a birthday gift for her sister. The transaction turned out to be a win-win-win-win deal for everyone concerned.
Usually, we notice serendipity after an auspicious event happens. This was certainly the case with the selling of the car. If you stop and contemplate the idea of serendipity a little while, you’ll remember many instances of it happening in your life.
How often have you gone somewhere or done something that coincidentally led to an unintended pleasant consequence? Serendipity doesn’t just occur out of the blue, in some way, it relies upon our own intentions and actions.
Perhaps while visiting an unfamiliar city, you decided to stop at a little cafe for a quick lunch. The establishment had a very congenial, quaint decor and your meal turned out to be quite tasty. The name of the cafe didn’t seem significant until you saw the sign on the building as you departed. It said “Serendipity”.
Serendipity seems almost otherworldly and metaphysical. However, serendipitous events stand out because our attention is especially alerted to the scenarios surrounding them. There’s some sort of thought process going on in the subconscious part of the mind.
For instance, in the case of the acquaintance who knew her daughter wanted to buy a compact car for the sister, the mother had formulated an image in her mind about the appropriate type of car her daughters wanted. A Chevy Cavalier would be perfect. Soon, everywhere the mother went, Cavaliers seemed to appear all over town. When she heard about dad’s Cavalier, she deduced that the car was “heaven sent”. Due to the fact that someone she has known a long time had it for sale, validated her opinion.
Just thinking of unintended, happy events that seem to pop out of thin air makes us feel good. Even when we think or say the word “serendipity” we experience a bit of joy. It’s a light-hearted, pleasant word. Serendipity is when the mundane world provides a little tidbit of something extraordinary. Who doesn’t feel thrilled when something turns out to be serendipitous?
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes the chemist and Nobel Prize Laureate Akira Suzuki. “The concept of serendipity often crops up in research. Serendipity is the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things that were not being sought. I believe that all researchers can be serendipitous.”