Yesterday I drove to work accompanied by the local Talk radio station. When they mentioned a 73 year old man who had been missing since the previous morning, I paid close attention to the description ... medium height, greying hair, walking with a noticeable limp, dragging one foot, using a child's stroller as a mobility aid. But in a city of 2.5 million, what are the odds?
Not two minutes later I spotted him walking slowly with the stroller looking bewildered and miserable in the rain. I pulled off the road as soon as I could, turned a corner to find a parking spot and phoned 911 to make my report. And learned just minutes later that, in fact, the police confirmed his identity. I can't even begin to imagine how terrible the last 24 hours had been for his loved ones and felt my own exhilaration just imagining the relief they must have felt.
A couple of weeks ago I finished reading "To Say Nothing of the Dog" by Connie Willis, a book which discusses theories of history, as well as free will vs determinism. And it struck me that yesterday I was the specific person in the specific circumstance meant to play an important role in a significant event. Yesterday was not my average day at all.