My mother and Paulo Coelho would agree: There are no such thing as coincidences.
In fact, Coelho, author of The Alchemist, goes further to say that "coincidence is the language of the stars" and that "when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it."
Let me share a quick story.
A few days ago, I sat there listening to Dr. Wayne Dyer's memoir, I Can See Clearly Now, on audiobook. Read by Dyer himself, he shares the personal stories that have evolved him as a being.
A few particular poignant moments were the times at which Dyer stood up against injustice: once as a 3rd grader when the class voted to ostracize two new students but Dyer stopped that from happening and another time as a U.S. Navy soldier when Dyer felt that citizens of Guam shouldn't be treated differently based on their race.
It got me thinking about how I sized up to Dyer's noble record. I thought about times in my life where I was more of a wallflower than an activist, like the time where a racial slur was said at the dinner table and I didn't call out a man's ignorance because I didn't want to upset the dinner host.
A bit hard on myself, I got in the car to pick up lunch at my favorite deli.
There, at the deli, I "coincidentally" bumped into a former student of mine. He approached me at the deli and said, "Hey Mr. Guay, can I ask you a question..." to which I replied "Of course, but call me 'Mark.'"
He told me about a new college class of his. There's a classmate whose gender is ambiguous and his professor apparently makes jokes about whether to call the classmate "he" or "she."
My former student sits in class steaming with anger, unsure of what to do. So he asked me. "What would you do in this situation Mr. G... I mean Mark?" he said.
And I laughed. I thought about how just 30 minutes earlier I was thinking about like times in my life where I had a similar crossroads.
I talked him through a few hypotheticals and offered what I thought to be good advice for him to make up his own mind about what to do.
He thanked me and walked away and told me he'd keep me posted about the outcome.
I have no doubt that this "coincidence" was meant for a reason. I do not know the reason nor may I ever, but that doesn't shake my confidence in the causality of this meeting.
There have been many what appeared to be random coincidences that led to beautiful miracles in my life:
- Making a last minute random decision to enroll in a BFA Acting program and philosophy class, both of which led me sitting next to my now wife, Kaitlyn.
- Feeling extremely burnt out from teaching and thinking of quitting then getting a letter from a former student telling me how my positive outlook on life stopped her from putting a knife to her wrist.
- Reading Jean Kilbourne's research on gender identities in college, interviewing her ten years later as a journalist, and then randomly introducing Jean to someone I just met which led to her being a guest of honor at Omega Institute.
And of course there are many yet "coincidences" in life that have yet to appear less than coincidental. But that's okay. I don't need to know the ripple effect of all of these events.
Because that's not the point.
What about you? When have there been moments in your life where what seemed to be coincidences turned into beautiful miracles?
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