I’m not a believer in fate or karma. The idea that everything that happens to a person is bound to happen that way, or is the result of something that person did at some earlier time, strikes me as too deterministic. Serendipity, on the other hand, is something I can appreciate. Because I’ve come to understand that many seemingly non-random events are really coincidences, when a particularly fortuitous coincidence occurs, I make an effort to take advantage of it.

Yesterday evening, I saw Lech Walesa, Nobel Peace Prize winning labor activist and former President of Poland, speak in Washington, DC…