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Being Present. What A Gift.

I believe that coincidences have meaning. With so much of our lives predictable, why not consider there may be reasons behind the unexplained?

Years ago I hired a window washing company for a client on East 78th Street and Madison Avenue. The window washer, secured to the side of the building, intently concentrating on his work, was done and gone in less than an hour. Last Wednesday, at another client’s on Park Avenue and 92nd Street, as I headed up to the penthouse, the elevator stopped and two men got on. I recognized one immediately.

“Hi,” I said to him. “You did the windows for my client a few years ago.” He smiled shyly. “You look like Forest Whitaker,” I added. He continued to smile. For all he knew, “forest” was just a bunch of trees. But what are the odds of bumping into him? Not just because there are millions, probably billions of windows in the city, but on the same elevator, at the same time?

Two days later, on Friday morning, my doorman buzzed. A workman was on his way up. Seconds later I opened my door and would you believe it was the same window guy? This time he recognized me too and we were equally as stunned. Twice in one week? And now way on the other side of town?

“Are you the only window guy in the city?” I asked. This time he laughed. We chatted while he fixed my window, taking extra care that it was just right.

As a believer in fate I like to think it’s a sign. Not some heavy, mythical, the world is ending sign, but a subtle one, reminding me of the benefits of being aware of my surroundings and the people I interact with. Do you make eye contact with the person who makes your morning coffee? Do you notice other people on the street? Or are you too focused on your cell phone? Maybe if we paid a little more attention in the moment we might not miss our next true love, business investor or even a best friend as they pass us by. Now that’s not fate, that’s just fateful.

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