Ubiquity of Three

Kwadwo Agyekum
2 min readMay 31, 2020

Three: a cardinal number; 2 plus 1 (Dictionary.com)

What’s On My Mind?

How common the number 3 appears in the world. It says something when Dictionary.com describes it as a “cardinal number”. It is also striking that in Math, the number 3 is classified as an odd number, with odd being a 3-lettered word. Perhaps it is a stretch to think about the ubiquity of 3. Nevertheless, what importance does the number 3 possess? Is it more than just an amalgamation of two or more numbers? The number 3 describes things in several disparate contexts.

In Christianity, the essence of God is the the Holy Trinity: God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In three days, Jesus Christ rose from the dead after his crucifixation and death. He had twelve followers too (12 is a multiple of 3).

The number 3 shows up in some sports too. In baseball, a batter gets a strike-out after receiving three strikes during a time at bat. In fùtbol, having either three players in defense, midfield, or offense is prevalent; 4–3–3 is a formation used by many teams. In basketball, 3-pointing shooting has become commonplace in the NBA, particularly since they are game-changers and game-clinchers.

Well, what about in other contexts? For starters, when you count down or count up, you may say “1,2,3!” or “3,2,1!”In the U.S., substantial American states enforce the Three-Strikes Law: three convictions for a certain type of offense which subsequently results in serious punishment. When playing FIFA, some players agree to restart a match if one of them is losing by a scoreline of 3–0 before the end of the match. College admissions committees tend to focus on an applicant’s 3rd year of high school. Time is divide into three parts: past, present, future. Even as your eyes peruse these words, you may think of other contexts where “3” shows up and be spooked at how frequently it is present.

Is it happenstance that the number 3 is prevalent in several different contexts? Regardless of whether that is the case, it is fair to consider its ubiquity. Whoever can unlock the hidden meaning of the number 3 deserves 3 chocolate chip cookies with 3 chocolate chips on each of them.


[1] Dictionary.com. (2020, May 31). Retrieved from Dictionary.com: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/three