One of my favorite words is serendipity, which means a chance occurrence that brings happiness and joy.

In this thing we call life, with all its twists and turns, and curve balls, serendipity is always surprise and a treat. And when it happens only we know how it feels, how it belongs to us in our own lives.

We read and we hear about empathy, emotional intelligence, emotional courage, servant leadership, as they expand on the foundation of hospitality— all very good things.

It’s easy to suggest to others they ought to practice these ideas. I do believe, though, at the very least we need to know them in our own way, and sometimes that happens in our own way, when all of a sudden during our work day we make a connection with someone and say to ourselves, “Wow, I’m feeling like this is emotional intelligence or empathy,” and when it’s a surprise, it can be considered a seriously cool experience.

It’s not always easy to permit ourselves to open up and let our worries, our stresses — our realities — take a back seat and stand up in the present. But often it’s during these times that we drive ourselves forward and experience serendipity.

Wherever you might be, take the now and give it to yourself, see things in real time, talk to others as if it’s a final conversation, listen and make eye contact, and you might be surprised at what happens.

Serendipity is when we desperately want to push the snooze button and don’t, then end up having a day of a lifetime. It’s when we’re dragged to that party we really don’t want to go to and end up remembering that night forever. It’s when we don’t want to visit someone, and when we do we realize what we’ve been missing, and maybe that person realizes it too. And it’s in the realization of just how fast times goes and whether we played a positive role in its passing or not, and if not, then to dream of ways to slow time down by making life’s moments matter more.

The chance occurrences are out there and just as serendipity awaits you, you also might be the happiness and joy that someone needs.

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