“People break down into two groups. When they experience something lucky, group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck. Just a happy turn of chance. I’m sure the people in group number two are looking at those fourteen lights in a very suspicious way. For them, the situation is a fifty-fifty. Could be bad, could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they’re on their own. And that fills them with fear. Yeah, there are those people. But there’s a whole lot of people in group number one. When they see those fourteen lights, they’re looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever’s going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope. See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?”
This is a quote said by Graham Hess (played by Mel Gibson) in a scene from M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs. This is one of my favorite movies, not only because it references so much of Hitchcock’s style of filmmaking, but also because it focuses on a question that has been pestering me for most of my adolescent and adult life.
As a child, I would unquestionably put myself in group one. I seemed more in touch with the magic of possibility. I loved the mystery of things like that. I felt, deep in my bones, the thrill of believing that things always happened for a reason. It just made sense to me. But as I got older, I focused more on developing my logical brain, focused more on reason, and tried to navigate the tempestuous waters of adolescence. I still maintained some of my whimsy, but I was observant enough to know when to rein that in and when to let it loose. I adjusted.
In college I developed my intellect even further, but not so much my faith. By the time I graduated college I was solidly in group number two, battered down a bit more by life’s disappointments, lowering my expectations for what life had to offer me as a way to protect myself. And I really had to be put through the ringer before I could start to see that existing in group two really just kept running me into a dead end.
Things are the way things are, no matter how I choose to look at them. So it’s come down to the fact that being the kind of person in group one is just a more freeing, more exciting, more fulfilling way of living life. The logical side of my brain is still skeptical, still afraid of what it can’t rationalize. But I’m learning that I don’t always need to understand, I just need to trust.