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Celebrating Serendipity

What a beautiful word!   Norman Vincent Peale often referred to Serendipity as one of the most beautiful words in the English language.  Not only the sound of the word as it rolls off the tongue and into our ears, but the meaning of the word itself.


n. pl. ser·en·dip·i·ties
1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
2. The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
3. An instance of making such a discovery.

Years ago, probably ten years or more, I read a delightful story and then safely tucked it away in an inspiration file.  Many times since then, I have looked for the story and have not been able to locate it.  Less than six months ago I deliberately set out to locate the little story in my large collection of inspiration files… to no avail.

Fast forward to May 1, 2010. Today!! I opened a bulletin I had just received in the mail.  To my delightful surprise was the story I had been seeking for these many years.   Enjoy!

“Why All the Hard Work?”

“A boat docked in a tiny Mexican coastal village.  An American tourist complimented the local fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.  “Not very long,” answered the fisherman.  “But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the tourist.  The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The tourist asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”    “I sleep late, fish a little, play with children, and take a siesta with my wife.  In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, play the guitar, and sing a few songs.  I have a full life.”

The tourist interrupted, “My good man, I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you!  You should start by fishing longer every day.  You can then sell the extra fish you catch.  With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?” asked the fisherman.

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second boat and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.  Instead of selling your fish to the middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.  You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles or even New York City.  From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the fisherman.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the tourist.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards?  Well, my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the tourist, laughing.  “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”
“Millions?  Really?  And after that?” asked the fisherman.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a quaint village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evening with your friends playing the guitar.”

Moral to the story:  “Know where you want to go in life.  You may already be there.”
– “Copied, author unknown”

Judy’s moral to the story: Always be on the look-out for serendipity.  You must only believe.

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Judy W Bell

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