Do you believe in destiny? Do you believe that out of the billions of humans alive, someone is fated for you, like it’s already written in the stars and all you need to do is wait for the right time to present itself in the right place? Do you believe that the meeting of two people, or thoughts, or hearts happens because of coincidence? Isn’t it amazing how some events in our lives take place even though we do not anticipate it to happen? Personally, I am a strong believer of destiny and of the art of making an unsought finding; Serendipity.
The word Serendipity came from the Old Persian name of Sri Lanka, “Serendip”. It was coined by an English writer named Horace Walpole, in a letter he wrote to his friend about a story he once read entitled “The Three Princes of Serendip”. In our present time, the word Serendipity is used to mean an act of finding something valuable which is entirely different from what we are looking for or simply “a fortunate accident”.
Serendipity is one of the small things that make life worth living despite all the pain and crises that we face today. In its oldest human sense, Serendipity speaks about life and love. These words are inseparable like sugar and sweetness. The movie Serendipity best illustrates how “a fortunate accident” can in fact lead a person to the one he or she is destined for. Behind the sugary tale is a powerful message about life; that sometimes we fail to notice the obvious. Life throws us signs that will reveal our true happiness hence we should always be watchful and seize the opportunity – otherwise, we risk losing out forever.
Have you ever heard of “scientific serendipity”? Serendipitous discoveries in fact, contribute extensively to several fields of science especially chemistry and pharmacology. For example, the Cellophane, which we use today for wrapping Pastillas, Yemas, etc., is made of regenerated cellulose which is primarily intended to be a material for covering stain-proof tablecloth. The Penicillin, vaccines, even Corn flakes and Chocolate chip cookies are among the countless products of scientific serendipity. Truly, we should all recognize the significance of accidental discoveries in the evolution of science and technology.
However, these scientific leaps and technological advancements endanger the concept of serendipity. Our modern world seems to conspire against it. As one author says, we have become such “directed people”. Thanks to the internet, we can target what we want – put a couple of keywords in the search engines and Voila! You’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. Indeed time is saved yet we lose the pleasure of looking for something and being surprised by what we found even if it’s not what we’re looking for and so far no software can mimic that experience. Technology undercuts serendipity. We save time… Yes we’re efficient… But empty.
Likewise, the field of music also suffers from this conspiracy. We are the “downloading generation”. What we want to hear, we download. Our playlists are so predictable simply because it’s our own choices. We missed the fun of searching through radio stations and being astonished by the music we hit upon.
Sadly, it seems like Serendipity has been lost in matters of the heart as well. Matchmaking websites became very in demand to those searching for true love. It’s just like ordering from a menu where the list of your ideal mate is presented already and all you have to do is choose. Isn’t it more delightful to pursue the quest on your own, look into someone else’s eyes, find love and fall? Why deny such a wonderful experience right?
Indeed, the principle of Serendipity applies to a majority of aspects in our lives. The simplicity of the word disguises its complexity. It does not only relate to issues about love and life but surprisingly, it has contributed much in various fields of scientific studies. However, the advancements in technology affected the magic of Serendipity.
My friends, we must relearn how to be human, to be a kid again – learning things through personal discovery. Yes it’s true that the world is a better place to live in now because of technology however we’ve lost the imperfections inherent in humanity – things that make life a crazy yet beautiful catastrophe. Sometimes, it’s really better to allow fate to play itself out… Serendipity makes this journey an exhilarating one! Otherwise, when it’s all over and it is our time to face our Creator, we will have led extremely comfortable and efficient but dreary and monotonous lives.
Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Serendipity: The Art of Making An Unsought Finding - January 11, 2012