Do you believe in serendipity? At several times during my life, this magic has touched me. Merriam Webster online dictionary defines the word as a noun to mean the “phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.” Lexico.com defines the term as “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” And, Dictionary.com defines serendipity as, “an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident, good fortune, or luck…”
Serendipity differs from fate in that fate implies an outcome that could be good or bad (Merriam Webster.com). And, although similar to luck, serendipity narrowly refers to only the good and fortunate outcomes not sought. Luck is a broader term referring also to “bad” outcomes or bad luck (Merriam Webster.com).
So, what about destiny? How does serendipity fit with the meaning of that word? Destiny is different than serendipity in that destiny is thought to be that your path in life is pre-determined. Having good fortune would not change one’s destiny, would it? I suppose serendipitous events can occur along one’s destined path but the two are not one and the same. Merriam Webster.com defines destiny as “a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency.” Destiny, like serendipity, is a noun. But, they are not synonyms. They are different. Of the two, I would rather have serendipity. I do not believe my life has been pre-determined.
Serendipity implies a stroke of luck, a happenstance by chance, not pre-determination. As intelligent beings, I like to think that we have control over our destiny, that nothing is pre-determined. But, certainly good fortune, or serendipity makes a difference in some lives if they are touched by it.
My serendipitous experiences were brought to the surface again this week when I had the good fortune to sell some handmade fabric face masks. I’ve been selling these for a while as well as donating them to those in need and to a local college. But, last week I felt it was time to move on. I had some experiences that did not support my mask making and decided I needed a change in activity. But, out of the blue, a friend contacted me and wanted masks – not one – but enough for her whole family. This was serendipitous, for sure! I did not expect this contact, nor did I seek it. It just happened at a time when I really needed it to! I was so grateful! It made me feel so good to know my efforts were noticed! It was, to me, serendipitous!
As I mentioned at the outset, I’ve had other occurrences of serendipity throughout my life. My husband and I both being “free” from other relationships during our senior year in college is the best example I can give. Also, finding our current home – before it was even listed for sale is another example. Then, there are smaller instances but still significant. These include a chance meeting, arriving home just when my Dad needed me last year, and finding great people in a neighborhood we moved into 21 years ago, most of whom we still call friends! It was finding our cabin property when the road to another place for sale was too icy to travel. It’s having three boys (now, already young men) when at some point I never even thought we’d have one child. It’s the chance meeting of the minds when you are just being “yourself” but somebody really “gets” who you are!
Yes! I believe in serendipity! I hope you do, too!