Day 18 – Randomness


113/365: Flippin' coins

Image by Pauli Antero via Flickr

Here is your prompt for Day #18:

The title of my blog is “Life is random…and so am I”. Write about how you’ve experienced the randomness of life. It could be any (or all) of the following:

  • A random act or experience
  • A random encounter/meeting with a friend of a friend of a friend (like the Six Degrees of Separation theory)
  • Synchronicity that you’ve witnessed


Wow, random things have happened to me quite often in my life. I’m just ambling along, minding my own business and something odd pops up out of the blue. I look around me, wondering if it’s just me. Surely it’s not just me. Sometimes I think everything in life in random while other times I think that there’s no such thing as randomness. Maybe there are no accidents.

It’s usually posed as a question of cause and effect or fate, but I’m one of the rare people who believe in both. People usually exclaim at this point `you can’t believe in both!’ but you can.

Here’s how it works. If you flip a coin, it can land on heads or tails (or fall under the sofa/roll away etc). At the point that you flip the coin, many variables affect the outcome: how you flip it, how you catch it, what side it started on, environmental variables etc etc. These decide which way the coin will land. But no matter how many options there are for an outcome, only one outcome will happen. There could be a million possibilities but you will only see one outcome.

I believe that is fate.

So here’s an example of a `random’ thing that happened to me:

It was Shrove Tuesday/Pancake day and I decided to walk down into town to get ingredients for making pancakes. It was a lovely day and I had plenty of time so I walked down at a steady pace, the whole walk taking about 30 minutes. Now, the street is a very long,  busy main road but does have quiet periods during the day. It’s a steep street and though it’s not always full of pedestrians, cars are always speeding up and down it (far too fast!)

So I’m walking down and there’s barely anyone else there for miles and outside one of the newsagents I see a pram (perambulator/buggy). It’s on it’s own with a child in it (I’d guess the kid was about 1) and was a fairly flimsy pram. The kid’s on his own just kicking his legs and I can’t see any parents around.

I’m still about five minutes walk away at this point and so still a fair way from it but I think `maybe the kids parent is in the shop’ yet still think it’s odd that it’s outside on it’s own. People don’t normally leave prams unattended on purpose and the road there is very slanted, with the baby pointing straight towards the main road.

I get closer and just as I’m reaching the pram, it starts to roll directly into the path of a very fast oncoming car. Luckily, I was just in arms reach by then and grabbed the pram, pulled it back and put the brake on.

There was just one other person around at this point, a workman who quickly skipped across the road (after the car had passed) and asked me where the parents were. I said that they might be in the shop and the workman goes in and gets the kid’s dad.

The kid’s dad doesn’t say anything to me but I can tell everything is okay now so I set off walking again.

I couldn’t believe the timing of the situation that day. It sounds like nothing, but there was only me walking down for thirty minutes on that side of the road and I got there at exactly the right moment. A few moments earlier or later and I wouldn’t have been there.

There are numerous other `odd coincidences’ I’ve experienced but that’s one that particularly stands out.

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