Serendipity...The word makes me smile. It somehow just sounds unexpected and fun. Dictionary.com defines it as "the aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident." Desirable discoveries by accident--I like that! I am not, however, so sure that I like the word aptitude. It sounds limiting, like making desirable discoveries is for a select few. It is not! It is for anyone who chooses to be aware of the people and the world around them. Accidental, desirable discoveries are for those who look for opportunities to learn, to see little lessons beyond what lies on the surface of life’s everyday interactions. As I think about it, it seems more like an “attitude” than an “aptitude.”
Reflecting on that thought, there is something interesting and almost ironic about serendipitous experiences. Those inadvertent revelations don’t always come from pleasant experiences. Sometimes they do...but sometimes...well, sometimes we learn from what we in education call “productive struggle.” On occasion, the accident that produces the discovery requires a bit of intentionality to accept the lesson. (I am not talking about painful experiences that take time and effort from which to heal; rather, instances where we wish we could have a “do over” because we were not at our best.) Over the next few weeks, I want to write about several things that I have learned this year. Some from positive interactions and some from challenges, but they have all been valuable--and I don’t want to forget them. How about you? Would you share your experiences, as well?
Serendipity...May we all have the “aptitude” to be intentionally aware and the desire to accidentally discover truths that help us grow.
|Drawing by Rachel Hill|