Saturday, August 1, 2009

250 Words: Serendipity

Serendipity: the act of making fortunate, unexpected discoveries.

What a great word. I like saying it. Ser-en-dip-i-ty.

Finding the three articles in the Sacramento Bee was pure serendipity. I was looking for articles on the subject, but to find THE articles mentioned in the WRA document was complete serendipity.

It was not luck.

I was looking for something specific. I knew where to look. I knew what I was looking for. I was looking for any articles on the return of the Japanese to Sacramento. I made an educated guess based upon the time of publication of the document. I spent time looking.

If you don't know what you're looking for you won't know it when you see it (Duh!) One of the values of a Librarian is the experience garnered from working in a Library, from working with the collection, helping people find answers, knowing what is available.

I don't believe in luck. I believe in discipline, in thinking and finding solutions. I believe in tenacity, another good word. I believe looking at experience through the lens of truth. Not my perception of what I think or feel is true, or want to be true, or hope is true. That lens isn't a cataract.

There are times when good and bad things may happen. Calling this luck is akin to superstition. I don't believe in superstitions, either.

A big part of success comes from hard work, tenacity and serendipity. And correct thinking.

Gerald F. Ward

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