William Foege at 2016 Emory Commencement

Seek Serendipity

William H. Foege says:

“Seek serendipity.
We often think of serendipity as a random good fortune, but the origin involves three princes and Serendip, the Persian name for Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. A professor at Emory, Marion Creekmore was once ambassador to Sri Lanka or Serendip and the original story tells about a lost camel and how these three men, finding small clues that other people missed, figured out where that camel was. Today this would be the equivalent of reading a Sherlock Holmes story. I think this is the ability comedians have, to see things that we don’t see until they say it. Then suddenly we realize they’re funny. We’re told that this can be learned, by being in the moment and actually looking for connections. Henry David Thoreau said, ‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see’.”

Emory University, 2016, Commencement