Sunday, October 12, 2014
Coincidence or God Wink
CBS News on Sunday, today, had a segment about things happening that we call coincidences, asking if they are really happenstance of divinely inspired. They explored different happenings and had different views. Naturally the scientific view supported by Mathematicians was these occurrences were just "coincidences" supported by something I for one never heard of called "Law of large numbers" which when applied to this earth which has so many people in it that events, occurrences are bound to happen . This is applied to the roll of dice or flipping of coins. The other point of view is that there is something outside of the laws of probability that causes the "coincidences". These people are speaking about a supreme being who is involved with creation on a level that can be called micro-managing. However just because these occurrences present themselves doesn't mean the desired outcome will happen. One has to recognize and act on the opportunities as the occur. I can't speak for others but I can tell you about some of these coincidences that have happened to me that is inexplicable in the events that followed all connected but at the time they were happening seemed unconnected.
Back in those days every young man had to serve in the Army through the draft or joining an armed service or the peace corps. After being eligible for four years I eventually pushed my draft number up and went into the Army in the summer of 1956. Spent a week at Fort Dix until my orders came through sending me down to Fort Benning, Georgia. When I arrived at Benning my papers couldn't be found. They finally determined that I was sent down to Georgia by accident, that I was supposed to take my Basic Training in New Jersey at Fort Dix. I thought this was a colossal turn of bad luck. I was thousands of miles away from my girl, the one that I finally married,and I could have been close by seeing her on weekends. Here I am stuck in no man's land, what a rotten break! It so happens that my records showed I was a musician that club dated. After the first eight weeks of basic came the second eight. I was called to audition for the Third Infantry Division Band. It so happens that many of the band members were short timers going to be mustered out in six months or so. There was a shortage of musicians to fill the slots and of course the US Army must have it's parades. My audition went well and I was pulled from my second eight weeks of basic to play Trumpet in the band. I stayed in the band throughout my term, was able to get married and this beautiful girl who wouldn't give me a tumble came to live with me off base at 79 B Baker Village off Victory Blvd. a mile or two from the Fort which I went to every day to play my Trumpet.
All this wouldn't have happened if I didn't make friends with a guy who had a brother who was pursuing a gal who happened to be the sister of the girl I eventually married. But if I wasn't so much in love I never would've pushed my number up at the time I did which caused me to be inducted in the Army and be sent down to Georgia by mistake so I would be easily taken in the band , which allowed me to marry and live off base and eventually come home and spent fifty years of married life with this girl who wouldn't give me a tumble. But the way these unconnected events led to us having seven children, ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The ripple effect of these unconnected events, coincidences, have touched many people, and will continue to do so long after I am gone. All this just the effect of "The Law of Large Numbers"? I don't think so. I really don't think so! But it doesn't stop there. The coincidences keep on coming.
So I just go along taking care of life as it happens thinking what happens in life isn't necessarily connected especially if it happened in the past, many, many years ago. As an example sometime in 1974 my happy career with American International Pictures was over unceremoniously ended and I joined the banking community. Manufacturers Hanover affectionately called Manny Hanny became my home for The next 15 years. A very unhappy union except for a few things. I lost the glamour of the motion picture industry and most of the people I had come to know as everything was shifting to the west coast. The work was sometimes interesting but for the most part very boring because of the politics connected with it. Yet because of great insurance coverage and some pension rights it fell into place during and even after I left it. There were many coincidences connected with this part of my life but not he most important which I wouldn't realize until almost a quarter of a century passed. During one of the most depressing years there I met a young lady who was just beginning her journey that would lead to marriage and becoming a mother. She was one of my refuges from the boring, political grind of the day. We'd go to lunch, maybe stop at one of those New York mini parks that had foliage and a water fall. Stop at the UN grounds which could be visited without worry in those days, looking at the great rose gardens and just talking sharing a few laughs. Nothing romantic, she was in love with the people in her life and I was in love with the people in mine. Then came the downsizing for me and she had a little child to take care of so we apparently went our separate ways. Apparently to live out our lives as the gods would have it. Or so one would think.
My wife had past after a very long bout with Alzheimer's. I figured there was some life left to live but didn't quite know how to get my footing. Then on day I received a message from some one who wondered if we had known each other at Manny Hanny. This was quite sometime after I had left Manny Hanny. Of course it was that wonderful young, beautiful, vivacious lady who spent time with me when Manny Hanny had gotten too much to handle. We met for lunch, met a few more times, we were both single, available but a huge age differential was there yet despite that, guess what? We fell in love. Remember, I had left my job at American International because I wouldn't move to the west coast, couldn't get another job for a few months until a neighbor referred me to a guy that lived around the block form me who happened to be looking for someone that had credentials like I had. He was let go and the job I was hired for was dissolved causing me to be transferred uptown where eventually I met this young, beautiful lady who some twenty five years after we said goodbye forever we became part of each others life again on a more personal, loving level than we could have ever dreamed would be happening. Now I can't trace the events that may occur from this coincidence the way I could with the ones mentioned above because not enough time has elapsed for the meanings to show themselves. So I have hope that this micro managing God will let us know in his own good time what he has happily planned for us. For me and I hope for her so far what we have experienced is just the beginning of all the good things to follow, for love is full of beauty and happiness and we have that.
So I must say it is my experience "The law of large numbers" while seeming to make much sense really isn't the cause of some mathematical probability that cause coincidences. What one writer terms as "God Wink" while seemingly very illogical, is the true reason that coincidences occur. I ask the reader to ponder their own lives and visualize what their lives might have been if not for those unusual happenstances that have occurred.