It started on Monday. As a reporter, we meet with our editor daily for assignments and updates. We also pitch a few ideas his way if we’ve found anything interesting. When we met Monday morning, he gave me an assignment to write about firework safety. It wasn’t long after that our scanner chimed in, reporting of a fire on South Grand Avenue caused by fireworks. What a coincidence.

I heard a few other stories this week from the public of coincidences, and it wasn’t because I asked, “Have you had any coincidences?” It was a coincidence that people told me of their coincidences. Or was it?

Coincidence is defined by dictionary.com as “a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance.” In my case, it was coincidental that my editor brought up fireworks safety and then a fire caused by fireworks happened. There wasn’t anything he or I did to cause a fire to break out by fireworks. It just happened.

Not everyone believes in coincidences, though. You might call me crazy, but I’m one of them. That doesn’t mean I believe in a higher power that really wants to get the word out about fireworks safety. I’m not religious, but there has to be a bigger picture; there has to be some sort of meaning behind the reason for why coincidences happen.

I am not sure how many of you know this, but the first time (and only time) I’ve ever broken a bone was 2014. It was a horrible week. I came down with a sickness (I wasn’t disturbed) and vomited for the first time in years, which caused some pinched nerves in my back. My paycheck was going to be less due to taking off work from being sick and the pinched nerve. I tried setting up an appointment with a doctor to help with the pain and whatever I came down with; nothing seemed to be working in my favor that week.

That weekend, Saturday, I broke my hand, specifically called a “boxer’s fracture”. The bones in my hand that were connected to my ring and pinky finger were shattered, my wrist was dislocated, and just about everything else in that hand was dislocated. I admit, I am a bit embarrassed to explain how I broke my hand. Another story for another day, not that I feel I should hide it.

This granted me with an opportunity, though. Parker was kind enough to find work for me to do that didn’t require the use of my right hand. I learned how to do a lot of things with my left hand in that time. The biggest opportunity I gained was learning more about how Parker functions.

Later on, this information was useful to me in understanding my own job. There was a bigger picture that these smaller actions fit into, which seems coincidental. In this case, it wasn’t. One action led to another. There was a reaction for every action I took. By getting sick, I ended up vomiting. By vomiting, I pinched nerves. Those pinched nerves and being sick kept me from work, which stressed me out. Adding on the rest of the week that followed along with a slew of issues and breaking my hand, this all led for me to gain an opportunity at my job.

Coincidence is in the eye of the beholder, if I had to sum it up. Though I don’t personally believe coincidences exist, that doesn’t mean I have the right answer. My belief is that everything costs something; that nothing is free and an equal exchange needs to take place, whatever that may be. If you put in time and effort, you may receive knowledge or skills or abilities or money – time and effort are the biggest forms of currency (that’s how you earn money, by exchanging your time and effort for it).

Someone else may believe that it’s divine intervention or God’s will. Another person would say it’s a coincidence and that it just happened and is unrelated from each other. Regardless, it’s fun to toy with the idea that these things are connected in some way.

There’s a theory on quantum entanglement. It’s a little hard to explain. Basically, scientists split an atom in half to test a theory on whether things are still connected to each other after they split.

Whatever these scientists did to one half of the atom they split, the other half would react even though it wasn’t connected to the atom nor was it touched or affected by anything. It didn’t matter what they did with the two halves of atoms or where each half was.

Quantum theories (and quantum entanglement) aren’t beyond me, but I definitely am not the person to explain these topics. However, the theories and research and experiment on the quantum level will eventually help to explain things that we might consider to be supernatural or divine. Remember a time when everyone believed the earth to be flat (that’s a whole other topic for another day)? Actually, there are still people who believe that… What a coincidence! “I talked about science and that brought up the flat earth and there are people who believe it today!”

The reason why coincidence is individual is because of how we interpret events. Is it REALLY a coincidence, or are you trying too hard to make a connection out of something that isn’t there? Did it happen by chance or is it actually connected? Coincidences aren’t all that important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s fun to think about, isn’t it?

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