“When love feels like magic, it is called destiny; when destiny has a sense of humor, it is serendipity.” -from Serendipity, a 2001 John Cusack movie
Who doesn’t love John Cusack? Why not name my blog after him? I fell in love with the idea of serendipity after watching his 2001 movie called, ironically, Serendipity. I was in love with John Cusack way before that movie came out (think Say Anything).
I taught a class to 7th and 8th graders called Serendipity, I named my blog Serendipity in Education, and I strive to live life looking for serendipity. Here are five reasons why:
1. Serendipity is looking for the good in all things
Even the things that don’t seem to be very good at all. For example, in one of my first blog posts, I described how during a two hour drive to my hometown to see my mom, who was dying, I found myself feeling very grateful for traveling by car rather than horse and buggy on that rainy day. Sometimes it can be quite a stretch to find the good, but if I look hard enough, I can always find things to be grateful for.
2. Serendipity is good luck disguised as bad luck
The other week I read a book called Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth to a fifth grade class. We loved all three of the short stories with powerful lessons, and one of them resonated with serendipity. The panda describes several situations where people had bad luck, but in the end the “bad luck” kept a young man from being drafted into war.
3. Serendipity is looking at life from a humorous angle
This one can be drawn right from the way serendipity is described for the movie, “destiny with a sense of humor”. I do believe that things happen for a reason, a bigger purpose than we are sometimes aware of. I love looking for the humor, the irony, the hidden lessons in the things that happen. I do not poke fun at other people (although my sister may contradict that statement), rather I laugh at myself or the situation. Finding the humor helps lighten the mood and then helps us look at solutions with a more positive approach.
4. Serendipity is an approach to life that doesn’t replace hard work
I believe in luck…as in we make or find our own good luck. I think Thomas Jefferson said it best, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” All good things take work. Serendipity is more about how you approach life, with a desire to find the good and smile and laugh while you do.
5. Serendipity is found by immersing ourselves in life
The origin of the word serendipity comes from a Persian tale called “The Three Princes of Serendip”. In this story, three princes try to impress their father by traveling as everyday people rather than as nobles. During their travels, they saw the hardships that people went through but also saw the good that was in that everyday difficult world. This reminds me to walk the walk, roll up my sleeves and do the work alongside others, and to really listen to understand.
The tag line for my blog is: Stumbling upon the fortunes of learning, laughing and celebrating alongside incredible colleagues, students and parents.
I believe that the “fortunes” are always right in front of us, and it is our job to find them, to learn from them, and to share them.
Do you believe in serendipity? More importantly, do you love John Cusack as much as I do?