The date in which I write this article is on 11.11.11. There is symmetry in this row of number ones that does make you feel that there’s a significance to this day. As a matter of fact, there are many weddings taking place on this date, whether for good luck or so that couples could remember their wedding anniversary easier. Words that go round in Twitterverse is that if you make a wish on 11:11 on 11.11.11, it will come true: a sweet idea that has gone viral and as I’m typing this, generating a global outpouring of wishes that is making this date a Twitter trending topic.
It’s funny how as humans we are always fascinated and on the look out for the significant, particularly in numbers and dates and how they relate to our lives. We make a great deal of birthdays, anniversaries and commemorations of events that we find important in the course of our history and life’s journey.
We look back at our lives as a series of milestones comprising of dates and years signifying our achievements - when we finished high school, when we won that poetry prize, when we graduated from university, when we got married, when we got that first job or set up that business. Laid out in that fashion, it is easy to trace and make sense of the direction our life is taking. It creates meaning and makes us feel important.
Perhaps it’s precisely our ability to put our past in some kind of order - to see the symbolic in things and events and the desire to decipher and extract meaning out of them, as are our propensity to project our fears, desires and hopes on the things around us, whether in magic numbers or in our interpretations of disasters and natural phenomena - that have enabled us to survive for so long on the planet where other species have failed.