NOTE: this post is about the idea of Godwinks. I haven’t read the book itself.
I heard about this idea a few months ago when I saw a clip on the Today Show. Supposedly these are instances where God speaks up and creates some uncanny coincidence in a person’s life. While I think that the instances are sometimes amazing, I don’t believe that they’re anything that mean anything in particular. I think that “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” explains away most “Godwinks”.
Here’s my own experience with a Godwink: My boyfriend and I were in the same places at the same time about 11 years before we officially met. In theory, there could be photos with the two of us in them, though we wouldn’t be the focal point. He’d be in the back of a picture of me, I him, or both of us in the background of some third person. It’s actually a really good thing that we didn’t know of each other’s existence because then things would be really awkward!
You see, my boyfriend 19 years, 2 weeks older than me to be precise and he has a son who is 3.5 years younger than me. We met at the bowling alley in 2011, where we bowl duckpins. Back in the years ’99-’01, during the annual youth state tournament, both me and the kid bowled (albeit in different divisions) and my boyfriend was there to cheer on his son. Given our shared interest in duckpin bowling and his love for his son, it would be stranger if we weren’t there together.
The cliches are that “hindsight is always 20/20” and that “people see what they want to see” and both are true here. The first moments of a meeting between 2 strangers is spent searching for so called “Godwinks”–“oh, my mom went to UCLA, too!” “oh, I love the bagels at Giuseppe’s on 5th, too!” “oh, my cat’s name is Rat, too!” If two people don’t have anything in common (which I believe is impossible) then they leave each other and never think of the other again. The more important a connection to someone is, the more the couple searches for and therefore find these “Godwinks”. And yet, 2 strangers who never speak a word to each other may share a virtually identical history. So is God still winking when it’s in his power to make sure that these identical strangers never meet?
I think that the most good we can do is to search out these so called “Godwinks” but not because they’re a “wink from God”, but because society is degraded every time two people decide that they have zero in common and therefore can never get along. I believe that two people who “agree to disagree” are simply too stubborn to see what similarities they actually have (see–they can agree that they’re both stubborn).
Anyway, I may put this book on my to read list, or I might not. If someone owns it and wants to send a copy to me because you hate this “review” with a passion, drop me a line and I’ll give you an address to send it to.