Serendipity

Waiting is the hardest thing for me to do- I am an action person.  For some, waiting is no problem but they wait forever and nothing gets done.  The best is to be somewhere in between and knowing when waiting is the best outcome.  Often the best things happen when we wait in trust and hope, after we have done our best.  This is called ‘serendipity’.  The etymology of the word serendipity is very interesting.  It is supposed to have been invented by Horace Walpole, the 18th C English art historian, novelist and politician. Apparently he made it up, inspired by a Persian fairy tale ‘The Three Princes of Serendip‘, whose heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of”.  The word Serendip, an old name for Sri Lanka, comes from Arabic Sarandib from the original Sanskrit ‘Simhaladvipa’ which means “dwelling-place-of-lions island”.  (PS- By curious serendipity, my own surname is ‘Simha‘ or ‘Sinha’ meaning a ‘lion’ and I live near Walpole Park, London, which is connected with the Walpole family)

Things happened to me last week which proved waiting is better than fretting and worrying.  I left some shopping after paying for it in a shop and only discovered it when I got home and the shop was shut. Usually I would have worried about this but realised I had to let this go. The next morning,  another person who knew me and the shopkeeper both, brought my shopping back me as I was dropping my son to school!  Another example- I had been trying frantically to make contact with an influential person get one of my international community projects going and things appeared to have ground to a halt.  I was supposed to be flying out to be there.  Then I was amazed to find out that this person is actually flying out to London and not only that, I have been invited to meet him!

Waiting for the right thing and persistence in following your heart is about your own personal journey of discovery and serendipity.  And we have to have this spirit of discovery and hope all the way- until the end.  Nichiren said in 1260- “…the journey from Kamakura to Kyoto takes twelve days.  If you travel for eleven days but stop with only one day remaining, how can you admire the moon over the capital?”

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