I used to scoff at people who repeated this tired old phrase.  Not only is it overused, but how can it possibly be true?  How could anyone think that some of the random, senseless violence that goes on in this world happens for a “reason”?

But something happened this week that made me pull out the tired old phrase myself.  I showed up on a military base for a class I was supposed to be teaching, and after a long frantic interlude of not being able to reach my contact to escort me onsite, I was finally told that I had the wrong dates for the class.  I had showed up a day early.

I have never, ever made that kind of mistake before, and I was terribly embarrassed at first.    But after I went back to my hotel to change my flight, I realized that it was a fortuitous mistake.  If I’d had the correct dates, I’d have tried to fly in on Wednesday this week, when both the airport I flew out of and the one I needed to change planes at were completely shut down by blizzards.  It would have been impossible for me to get here, and thus another thing would have happened that has never, ever happened to me before: I would have been a no-show, and the class would have had to be canceled and rescheduled.

So OK, maybe in just this one small case, something happened for a reason.  But let’s not go overboard about it…

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