The Rule of Three

As far back as we can think of, human race has been fascinated with the number 3.  What is it with three? This first odd prime number has the magic of somehow balancing everything. Structurally: three is a triangle, literally: three are the components of a story arc and in religion we have the Holy Trinity.

From Julius Caesar’s famous one liner, “Veni, Vidi, Vici” to Dante’s Divine Comedy which is divided into three parts to the latest strings of trilogies like the Hunger Games and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo etc, we love it when things happen three times. Fairy Tales almost follow it like a rule. The first two pigs don’t make a strong house but the third one does or the biggest of the three Billy Goats Gruff  gets rid of the troll and makes the bridge safe.

Our jokes have three characters or three stages, “a doctor, a guard and an engineer . . . “, our words have more impetus when we say them three times, “location, location, location” and our aesthetic senses are well satiated when we decorate our mantles with three things on them.

People say bad things happen in threes – natural disasters, plane crashes, celebrity deaths or cheating governors but the good thing is not to believe that philosophy as the human mind is so attuned to things happening in threes that we actually wait for something bad to happen. But in the above cases nobody has set a time frame for  bad things to hit so between the first and the third thing, there could be a gap of weeks or months by which time they do not fall into the category of threes.

Three bad things that do happen on the same day are bad hair, rip in the stocking and a very important meeting/party to attend.

One thought on “The Rule of Three

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s