“I just won the Lotto!” is one side of the coin of Luck, and “I’ve just been hit by lightning!” is the other. But are they different at all? Somehow I don’t think so. Luck seems to be the meeting of several factors at the same time and place producing an event that is more the outcome of randomness than planning.
There is, however, always the aftermath. We’ve all read the stories of those Lotto winners whose lives were ruined by the winning. Friends and relatives now endlessly besieged them for money, in fact only saw them as a possible source of money ever afterward, or the money literally burned a hole in their pocket and sometimes their brains and their health as the coke and alcohol parties they threw consumed both in short order.
As for the lightning struck, many survive and the survivors often find their lives transformed by the experience. One can easily interpret being struck by lightning as a sign from the Heavens, a call to enter the service of Humanity.
The point is that all lucky events propagate in time and what the individual lucky one does with the fortune placed in his or her path determines whether the luck was good or bad.
Was it luck that I met the man who became my lifelong best friend? Yes, as far as the meeting him went. The best friend part was our mutual doing. And the romances I’ve had – were they luck? At the meeting? During the loving? At parting?
There’s an element of chance in everything since randomness is everywhere in the universe and begins at the most basic quantum level, but chance is then molded by people and luck recedes as a factor after the first contact of the elements.
At the poker table a player may have a run of winning hands that goes on deal after deal, piling chips up in huge stacks in front of him. For a while he can feel invincible. Does he see it as the randomness of the statistical distribution of the pasteboards? Not likely. He’s more likely to interpret it as the universe’s acknowledgment of his natural superiority.
The other players gnash their teeth at the unfairness of it all and wait for the hand where hubris causes him to overreach and decimates his stack of chips in one crashing, gut-wrenching implosion.
Luck was present throughout but Luck is impersonal. She will dance with all at one time or another and how each dances determines each eventual outcome. One doesn’t want to trip on her train.