It is said that humans, in general, enjoy humor – but only in its place; they admire courage – but not the unthinking kind; they dislike meanness – providing it be distinguished from fiscal prudence. Motherhood meets with general approval - provided the world population does not threaten to explode. But what do humans approve in an unqualified way? They approve coincidence. Human beings enjoy, universally and without qualification, a good coincidence and for several reasons.
First, because coincidence is democratic; it has no regard for wealth or station in society. Second, coincidence creates an impression of mysterious potentials, mostly unrealized. Third, it is a source of relief from the dreariness of mundane comings and goings of every day life. Even statisticians are titillated by the challenge it offers to their professional skill.
All kinds of opinions and theories about coincidence abound. Do they exploit, or reveal, unities ultimately traceable to the mind of God? Does their value lie in what we learn from them of mind’s tendency to create the patterns it observes and to then invest them with meaning? Will coincidence eventually yield to correct statistical procedure? To bring a little order to a subject that, by its very nature, violates our sense of the expected, the following examples have been selected for you enjoyment.

In 1883 Henry Ziegland, of Honey Grove, Texas, jilted his sweetheart, who then killed herself. Her brother tried to avenge her by shooting Ziegland, but the bullet only grazed his face and buried itself in a tree. The brother, believing that he had killed Ziegland, then took his own life. In 1913 Ziegland was cutting down the tree with the bullet in it. It was a difficult job, so he used dynamite. The explosion sent the old bullet through Ziegland’s head and killed him.

Anthony S. Clancy is quoted in Reader’s Digest, August 1979:
I was born on the seventh day of the week, seventh day of the month, seventh month of the year, and seventh year of the century. I was the seventh child of a seventh child, and I have seven brothers; that makes seven sevens. On my 27th birthday I went to a race track, when I looked at the race-card to pick a winner in the seventh race, the horse numbered seven was called Seventh Heaven, with a handicap of seven pounds. The odds were seven to one. I put seven dollars on this horse. It finished seventh.

A man riding a moped was killed by a taxi in Bermuda in 1975; exactly a year after his brother had been killed – on the same street, by the same taxi driver carrying the same passenger, and on the same moped.

When the American novelist Anne Parrish first visited Paris in the 1920’s, she and her husband spent some time browsing among the secondhand bookstalls that line the banks of the River Seine. In one stall she found an old copy of Jack Frost and Other Stories, a book she had not seen since her nursery days. Excited to meet such an old friend again after so many years, she showed the book to her husband. He opened it and on the flyleaf found an inscription: “Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs.”