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LUCK

I don't believe in luck unless you're talking about somebody buying a winning lottery ticket at the local 7-11. To me "Luck" is the way people have of explaining away coincidences, good or bad or, more frequently, absolving themselves of responsibility.

In my old job I was considered lucky by many to have gotten some of the contracts I got. Those who called me "lucky" in those instances really meant "undeserving." What such people always fail to realize is the tens or hundreds or thousands of times I was "unlucky" and the contract wasn't won. Those situations, I suppose, in their minds, would have constituted the Universe playing fair as the outcome would have been one they liked.

Did I say I don't believe in luck? I don't. 

In reality, as with most situations relating to "good luck" it was the marriage of Moment and Preparation that = success. I work far too hard, racking up only incremental advances up the proverbial ladder, to ever pawn off the moment so success on anything so flimsy as luck.

Nearly invariably, when you scratch a success story that's supposedly based upon luck, you will find the recipient was engaged in an activity we all know (and a good many of us avoid as much as possible): hard work. years and years of it usually.

Sure you get the occasional myth about the midwestern small town girl, let's call her Cindy Crawford, randomly meeting a top-shelf fashion photographer in a field in the middle of nowhere and then BOOM: Supermodel.

No. Even that moment, which looks like luck to so many, isn't. The photographer, for instance, as part of his job, functions also as a scout for just the sort of untapped, unspoiled beauty Ms. Crawford just happened to be. Was it a coincidence for them to meet? Sure. But if it hadn't been Cindy, there would have been another, equally stunning, young lady who burst forth into supermodelhood around the same time. We know this because they just keep popping up, don't they?  

 Now, maybe, Cindy wouldn't have taken to the modeling life. it's possible. Maybe she could have photographed horribly despite being stunning in person. Again, we fall back on the the expertise of the person who discovered her. His entire life, including years of training to be a photographer as well as years in the fashion industry, surrounded by beautiful women, the odds of him NOT noticing Cindy (provided she was nearby) are remote. And throw in her close resemblance to one Gia Carangi (look her up) and, no, not so much luck involved. 

 Now what about bad luck? Nope. i don't believe in that either, despite the many downs my own life has taken over the years. Many more downs than ups it often seems. Was I unlucky during those Off times? Was it bad luck that made me ill or caused an invetment to go south or me not to get a desired job?

No. nearly every endeavor in life is a matter of competition; if YOU want something (or someone) the odds are others also find your object desirable. So: competition. Which means winners and losers. Which means the vast majority of the stuff people write off as bad luck is really poor choices for whcih they don't want to take responsibility.

Not all of us are as smart or a cute or as wise as we think but, when we bank on those phantom attributes and are, of course, brought up short by that banking, well, no one wants to add the insult of personal culpability to the injury of failure, now, do they?

 But, again, if you scratch your life and are honest with yourself, you'll be forced to admit that pretty much all of the bad luck that's come your way has been the result of you making choices. If you're making the choices, there's no use blaming negative outcomes on bad luck. That's all you; you own that.

The good news is, when you do win, you own that too. 

So that leaves tragic things like Slavery, Catastrophic Illness, crimes like murder and rape. Are the victims of these things not to be considered unlucky? Surely, you'll say, none of these is the result of the victim's choice.  And you're right. 

The unfortunate victims of these sorts of occurrences are, well, REALLY unfortunate but, while not the result of choice still don't qualify as bad luck.

There are a lot of us, y'know, us Humans I mean. Quite a lot of us. Billions. So many that it's a pretty sure bet that, at any given time, some of us are coming out of the box with shorter shelf-lives than the rest (or longer), or with a penchant for violnce that isn't shared by most of us. Even in tiny percentages (and I believe most people don't spend much time trying to screw over their fellow humans) we still get huge numbers of people succumbing to illness, committing horrible crimes and generally being faulty in either body or mind. 

Unfortunate, yes. Atrocious in too many instances. But still not the result of luck, good or bad. If we divorce ourselves from the concept of luck, maybe, just maybe, more of us would take more personal responsibility for things going so wrong so much of the time. Maybe.

 So, no. I don't believe in it. Nor do I believe in faeries, pookas or the spirits of the dead. 

 We've got our collective hands pretty full without all that. 

 

 

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