Oddly, in life there are some curiosities that we can’t account for but they become thematic.
One of them is the number three.
It comes up in so many instances, I thought it would be fun to note for you the ones I am aware of. Almost all of these are anecdotal, I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on any of them.
The old superstition of “three on a match” is bad luck. In either WW I or WW II, when an army had bunked down and was avoiding the enemy, it was a bad idea to light 3 cigarettes with one match.
Why? The story has it that in the time it takes to light 3 cigarettes the enemy would: 1) realize you are there, 2) get a fix on your location, and 3) be able to get you in their scope and shoot. So the third on the match was dead.
A popular Bible study site says “The number 3 is used 467 times in the Bible.” Instances include the 3 sons of Noah, Jonah was in the big fish for three days and Jesus was in the tomb for three days. Three times a year the people of Israel gathered for festivals, and, of course, the Trinity, the three-in-one “Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Next to the number seven, 3 is the most commonly found or referenced number in Revelation.
The Guardian.com had this little group of facts: On average 3 is the number of days you can survive without water, the number of weeks you can survive without eating, and the number of minutes you can survive without taking a breath.
Some fun examples:
3 primary pigment colors: red, blue, yellow (in light)
Three sections of standard deviations in statistics
3 types of stress: Eustress (positive stress), stress (balanced pressure) and Destress (anxiety or fear-based stress)
It is often said that funerals come in threes.
The 3 spirits in Dickens’s A Christmas Carol: past, present and future
The three little pigs
Three billy goats gruff
The 3 headed dog, Cerberus
The three musketeers
Goldilocks and the three bears
People don’t really hear you unless you say something 3 times
Many categories come in threes: small, medium, large; bronze, silver, gold; good, better, best
3 options in choice: yes, no, maybe
3 strikes, you’re out
Some curious song references:
Knock 3 times on the ceiling if you want me
Once, twice, three times a lady
You may find yourself seeing repetitions of three over the next few weeks. Please share what you find. And if you have any insight into why three is a magic number, I would love to hear that as well.