Listen to some of our jabberwocky motivation gurus and you’ll be believing what they preach: “If you can dream it you can do it. You’re your own reality.”
No, no, fellas. You’re thinking of psychotics…!
But would it be too psychotic to propose an unscientific answer to Stephen Hawking’s search for the Theory-Of-Everything? It might begin with an expanded concept of the role of Serendipity in our everyday lives. Literally, Serendipity means bumping into good things by accident. But now lets expand that to bumping into all sorts of things by accident. When you do, you kinda get a theory-of-everything for what’s ever happened to you and to the people and nations around you.
If my Father had not bought a home in the community of Austin in Chicago in 1940…we would not have been in the local parish of St Angela…I would not have met a bumptious director of parish variety shows named Jean Lynch…if I hadn’t met Jean, I would never have known about her new Oak Park Playhouse theatre company…if I hadn’t joined this company I wouldn’t have met friends like Bob Newhart and Kim Novak…if I hadn’t met them, I wouldn’t have met Joan Cantello, the brown-eyed beauty I would someday marry…if I hadn’t married Joan. we would not have been gifted with three amazing children…and if they weren’t here, then all the lives they’ve touch would not have been so touched.
Well, you get the idea. An idea that applies to you as well.
Now If we expand this application to history, think all the remarkably serendipitous events that coincidentally triggered the rise and fall of so many civilizations and history-makers. Including the rise of ancient Egypt, Persia, Greece and Israel…the conquests and impact of Rome…the Protestant Reformation…WWI….the Normandy Invasion…the atomic bomb….not to mention the election of virtually every president in American history. With more space we could recount the precise co-incidentals around which these epic events played out. Including the sudden storms, migraine headaches, missed messages, accidental revelations, and last-minute-skeletons that no one could have possibly predicted let alone planned.
OK, I’m not a Stephen Hawking. I’m certainly not a motivational guru. But I am experientially aware of just how little of our chaotic world — nature, economies, personalities — can be squeezed into any man-made plan. [As the ancient story has it, tell the gods your plans then listen to them laugh]. And so while I’m not suggesting we sit like a rock to be kicked down the road by Fate…I am suggesting we should be better prepared to expect a great many serendipitous kicks along the way. Which might help us roll with those kicks better than we have.
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