Social Question

Shippy's avatar

Call it fate, call it coincidence, call it strange, what do you think about oddly related events?

Asked by Shippy (9852 points ) October 29th, 2012

I find this odd, not sure if you do?

I have traveled my whole life from the age of 2. Countries I have lived in include Canada, Zimbabwe, SA and the UK to name a few. But even within these countries and outside their borders I traveled some more.

I have sailed on two very long journeys also, and visited many African countries.

At the age of 50, not planned (I can assure you), but driven by a certain chain of circumstance (fate?) I am going moving to a place 20 miles from where I was born! And where I come from. Isn’t this strange? It is fate? What do you think? and do you have your own story?

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10 Answers

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I think the only thing I can say was fate or coincidence was when I was at university and I was supposed to be going to a remote corner of an island for 6 weeks as part of my course. This is the kind of place where our equipment could only get there via helicopter and it was a walk in the wild for a couple of hours to this windswept place.

Anyway I had been having problems with my knee a few months before and out of the blue I woke up one morning and decided I was not going to go to this distant place. I had no idea why I felt like that but I cancelled there and then. To cut a short story even shorter the day after I should have arrived there my knee basically imploded and I was unable to move followed by reconstructive surgery the next day and months of physio. Apparently it could have gone at any moment, but if I had not cancelled I would have been stranded in agony and needed all kinds of things such as the RAF rescuing me.

Instead, I was 1 mile from the hospital and I was able to sleep in my own bed and then get tea and toast after the operation.

Shippy's avatar

@TheProfoundPorcupine Gosh the RAF would do that for you? wow! impressed.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@Shippy their rescue helicopter would have ended up winching me up and transporting me to hospital since I would have been stranded as no roads went there. I’ve never been in a helicopter, but I am glad that was not the way I popped my helicopter cherry

Judi's avatar

I don’t totally believe in “fate” , but I also don’t believe completely in coincidence. Is there something you need to resolve? At 50 this surely can’t be the conclusion of the circle. Maybe it is the crossroads in the infinity symbol.

flutherother's avatar

Despite various attempts to escape I have ended up living quite close to where I grew up.

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”

T S Eliot

wundayatta's avatar

Generally, I think it’s coincidence. The events are unrelated in a causal way, mostly.

However, I don’t know if returning to your birth place is one of those coincidences. That may have to do with your history to some degree.

lifeflame's avatar

I’m happy to accept that there are causal patterns to ‘coincidences’ just below our radar. For example, I will go through periods of my life where total strangers will start talking to me on the bus. It’ll happen for a week; and then it won’t happen. In general, I find that when I am happy and feel grounded in my life, more of these opportunities and ‘coincidences’ start happening, whether it’s the perfect job offer; or an old friend resurfacing just as I was thinking of them. Heck, there are even experiments that show the ability of dogs that can sense when their owner is thinking of coming home. (c.f. Rupert Sheldrake’s book: “Dogs that know when their owners come home.”

Anyway, I think human beings are unconsciously storytellers. We are drawn to patterns. narrative patterns, musical patterns, visual patterns. We want to make sense of the world, and we respond to the world in a way that creates patterns. Is it coincidence that the director my friend met at a bus-stop offered me the current acting job on Chinese migrant workers; when over 15 years ago I taught in a small village and my students now are all migrant workers in big cities? Yes and no. It’s a beautiful pattern, one that involves both conscious decisions (“oh, I’d love to do this project because you know, fifteen years ago…”, the general forwardness of my friend to talk to people) and unconscious / coincidences.

bookish1's avatar

“In a world that operates largely at random, coincidences are to be expected, but any one of them must always be mistrusted.” -Nero Wolfe

Mariah's avatar

I do just think these things are coincidences, but then again I’m one of those wet-blankets who like to call themselves skeptics. :P

Coincidences happen to me all the time these days, it seems like! When I first got to college, the first two friends I made, completely independent of each other, turned out to be roommates. Weird! Stuff like that is always happened. But I go to a small college, so I guess it’s not that weird.

augustlan's avatar

Despite considering myself a skeptic, I always feel a little magical when lots of coincidences happen in a short time period, or a big chain of coincidences over a long period of time end up having a profound impact in my life. For instance, before I ever met my first husband, I’d randomly met almost his whole family in completely unrelated ways. Including aunts, uncles and cousins – who lived nowhere near me or each other! For years, it felt like fate that we were destined to meet and marry.

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