Do you know the word serendipity? I had heard it before, but was reminded of it’s existence while watching an Audrey Hepburn film that I received for Christmas- ‘Paris When It Sizzles’. It was a very good movie- there were some surprising themes in my opinion, for it being an Audrey Hepburn movie, but over all I enjoyed it quite a bit. Anyway, the scene where the word in question is brought up, Mr. Benson defines the word for the audience (the quote is below, courtesy of cswap.com). Except….he took poetic license. The ‘official’ definition from Webster’s New World Dictionary is as follows:
Serendipity: n. a seeming gift for finding good things accidentally –serendipitous adj.
So in my mind, he kind of twists it around. It seems that Mr. Benson makes it sound like you can find ‘pleasure, excitement and happiness’ in anything, if you look for it. Serendipity is more like fate….destiny….a horse (sorry, I’ve seen ‘Tangled’, and couldn’t help it!)….etc., but only good things coming from it.
I almost prefer Mr. Benson’s way of looking at it- it’s more in the ‘attitude’, than in the ‘accident’. My preferred word(s) for “accidental” good things happening is actually providential blessing. For example, the other night when my dad and I were shopping at Goodwill, I found a $10 bill in one of the pairs of pants I tried on! My apologies to whomever lost their money…. With that money though, we were able to buy a coat for a lady we knew of that didn’t possess a winter coat! Now, we could’ve spent our money on that, no problem. But, I still like to view it providential blessing, rather than ‘serendipity’. Nothing God does is by accident, ever. (James 1:17) I will however say that I like Mr. Benson’s idea of having a good attitude about ‘anything that occurs. No matter how unexpected.’, (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) and I will probably watch the movie ‘Paris When It Sizzles’ again, but this time with a better understanding of the word ‘serendipity’….isn’t it a fun word to say? 🙂 Expanding one’s vocabulary is always something I enjoy. Whether or not you care about the definition of a word you may or may not have heard before, I hope that you are having a wonderful week!
-Do you know the word serendipity? he asks. She shakes her head.
– What does it mean? (Miss Simpson)
– Why, Miss Simpson, I’m surprised. It means opening your eyes
each morning and looking at the bright new day
and going absolutely ape! (Mr. Benson)
– Serendipity? (Miss S.)
– Right. (Mr. B.)
– Are you making it up? (Miss S.)
– No, serendipity’s a real word. Actually, it means the ability to find pleasure, excitement and happiness
in anything that occurs. No matter how unexpected. (Mr. B.)
-Serendipity! (Miss S.)