Amazing Coincidences, or Are they?
Amazing coincidences don't happen all the time. Most of these coincidences occur when you least expect it. In fact, when you wish for something so bad, it usually doesn't happen. Then, out of the blue, here comes that surprise that you were not expecting.
Amazing isn't it?
Is it fate or karma or an act of God?
Whatever it is, it stays in my mind for a long time and I end up shaking my head wondering "how in the world did it happen?"
Meeting an extra-ordinary Couple
I was married on Maui on April 4, 1992. My wedding was your typical "family wedding" with most of the guests being the friends of my Mother (my Dad passed away in 1974) and her 7 siblings. The event was held at a brand new community center in the town of Wailuku. There was an estimate of about 300 guests at the wedding but it felt like it was more. We had so much food that I invited a friend I met at the adjoining baseball field and invited his friends and many of the spectators in the bleachers to come over and get something to eat.
I had a large contingent of "sponsors" but I noticed there were some empty chairs at the sponsor's table. I also noticed some guests failed to show up as well.
Switch to 1996 at a pre-Christmas party in Los Angeles, where I was at a small gathering with my co-worker Sam, his family, and their friends. I met a couple for the first time who got married 4 years before. I introduced myself and they told me their names. Before you know it, the conversation came up about our weddings and they told me they were married on Maui. I also told them I was married on the same island. Amazingly, I found out that we were both married on the same day on April 4, 1992.
The only difference was that their big wedding was held on the other side of the island in Lahaina at a community complex. We were both astonished to find out that we shared the same sponsors and same friends who opted to go to one of the two parties instead of the other. My missing sponsors went to their party and the couple's missing sponsors went to mine while some of our missing guests had swapped parties too!
At the end of the night, the couple and I (my wife worked that day) became fast friends and we told everyone at the party of the stunning coincidence.
The Last Book
My cousin Charles gave me a book that has been quite influential in my life, next to the Holy Bible and the Agatha Christie novel "Curtain." This book was "Zen in the Martial Arts" written by Hollywood scriptwriter and martial artist Joe Hyams. "Zen in the Martial Arts" is a short, well-written book about Zen Buddhism principles and how it applies to every day life. In addition, the book tells about Hyam's experiences with his friend, martial arts legend/private instructor Bruce Lee, who's philosophy on life and the martial arts was based on Zen Buddhism.
I enjoyed the book and referred to it so often that I took it everywhere with me in my backpack. Later, I lost it somewhere and, of course, I needed to buy a new one.
The book wasn't easy to find in any of the bookstores I went to because of the limited copies. Back then, in the mid 1990s, I worked for an Airline company, so whatever city I went to, I made it a point to inquire about the book. I went to bookstores in Honolulu, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, and all the towns in between but I wound up with nothing. I could have ended the chase by ordering the book but being the procrastinator I am and being too impatient to wait for the order that took weeks, I turned down every request to order the book from every clerk.
One day, I was at the Maui Mall when I decided to give B.Dalton Bookseller store a try. The display area for martial arts books and philosophy did not have the book so I decided to go to the information booth. I asked the clerk about the book and believe it or not, she told me that the last book of "Zen in the Martial Arts" was sitting next to her at the counter.
At last, after a year of searching, I found the book! I had beaten the "zen riddle" in the book that said, "If you seek it, you cannot find it!"
I can remember two occasions when I felt down in my life, only to be approached by someone talking about God.
I met the parents of a baby girl, who had the same birth date, as my own daughter. Both were born in Los Angeles. The baby girl's Dad is named Paul and that's the same as mine. Lastly, the Father and I were born and raised in Hawaii.
When I was a senior in High School, I met a young Japanese girl backstage at a statewide High School talent competition that was being held in Honolulu. She was only a freshman at the time but she performed in a rock band and I thought she was so good that I told her so. For some reason (or maybe because I was in love with her), I told her she was going to be a superstar. Little did I know that what I said was true because she ended up moving to Japan and became "Yu Hayami", "the Madonna" of Japan, who became a successful singer and actress there.
During my Sophomore year in High School on Maui, I was thinking about transferring to another school on the island of Molokai. I asked my good friend/classmate what he planned to do in his Junior year and he told me about transferring too but he didn't tell me what school or what island he was thinking of. I didn't tell him about my plans either. Lo and behold, on the first day of school at Molokai High, we saw each other and started laughing our heads off!
Coincidence or the Unexplained?
I'm not going to preach that these coincidences were a matter of divine intervention or just some unexplained events. Things happen all the time but some of them are mighty peculiar, if you ask me.
I'd like to give a scientific prose on why these events happen but there really is no formula that can explain this. I'd like to tell you about how divine intervention may have allowed these things to happen but it's just another mystery on top of a mystery.
There really is no explanation and we'll classify it as one of the great mysteries of life.