Serendipity

by Maria Simpson
January 2016 Maria Simpson

It’s Thanksgiving week, and this year I am thankful for serendipity, something I hadn’t noticed much before, but which played an interesting role in this year’s events.
 
It was pure serendipity that a small group of people came together and became one of the most effective teams I’ve had the privilege of working with – the members of my board of directors on the Foundation I chair. People knew someone who knew someone who made an introduction. People I met because I was on too many committees and burning out, but found these great people who were actually enthusiastic about the same issues that interest me. People who had ideas and simply ran with them, doing work I never expected and were incredibly successful at it. I am certainly thankful for their work and commitment, and for the serendipity that brought us together.
 
It was also serendipity that led me to a group of people who made it possible to create a nine-minute documentary on middle school peer mediators. I heard about a program I wanted to build on; people ran interference for me that I didn’t even know about to get permission to interview the students; and then an article in an online journal I never read – except for that one serendipitous day – identified the students who would ultimately produce the program. Pure serendipity! Here’s the link. These kids are wonderful, both the mediators and the technical crew.
 
 Pepperdine Peer Mediation Interviews
 
There are also losses that I am feeling especially hard this year because the family home that we moved into from a teeny little Bronx apartment when I was nine has been sold, and for the first time in many years, a new family will spend their first Christmas in it, moving from a little apartment in Brooklyn. It is serendipity that the house was available when they needed it, and we were ready to let go of it as well, but a loss nonetheless.
 
Think about what was pure chance or luck or, yes, even serendipity, that made something wonderful happen this year, and then think about what changes led you to that moment, to that instant when you could recognize that good luck and the events it triggered. And be thankful for them. After all, it’s Thanksgiving.

Have an absolutely wonderful and peaceful week.

Biography


Maria Simpson, Ph.D. is an executive coach, consultant, trainer and mediator who has worked extensively with the corporate, non-profit and conflict resolution communities to promote incorporating conflict resolution into organizational systems and training people in the skills and approaches of mediation.

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