Luck’s a mystery for most of us, isn’t it? So many different ways we think of luck and the lucky.
“Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get” — Ray Kroc
Luck is what you make, some would argue. These people believe that the only thing that matters is hard work and perseverance. In this view of the world, being called lucky is more of an insult to the dedication and effort you have put in to get where you are. Your fans will celebrate and readily acknowledge your tireless pursuit — they know you earned it. Your detractors, those opposed or on a similar path, will have their own interpretation, quick to point out all your good fortune.
“Most of us regard good luck as our right, and bad luck as a betrayal of that right.” — William Feather
Luck is everything, some would say. This camp seems to believe that luck is a fountain of opportunity, waiting to be tapped. There’s no reason to believe that your work has an impact one way or the other — that doesn’t matter. There’s an x-factor always at work, waiting to turn over Aces for you just at the last minute. It’s a dangerous supposition, likely leaving one more disappointed than rewarded — but when it works, how lucky!
“Nobody gets justice. People only get good luck or bad luck.” — Orson Welles
Luck is the enemy of the wishful. It seems that some people have all the luck, and then, there are those unfortunate souls who have none of it. Bad luck seems to breed more bad luck. We all cheer for those friends who are down and out, regretting that they just can’t seem to “catch a break”. Indeed, luck is something you have to catch, have to work to find alignment with. Everyone doesn’t get luck because they’re not letting luck in, or they just weren’t destined for it.
These are all easy to understand theories. For the majority of my life, I likely prescribed to the notion that luck was a welcome, but unreliable force. I’ve believed that hard work was a necessary part of a healthy, productive life. Most importantly, luck was not to be taken for granted — you still have to do something with it, if you have it.
With age and experience, I’ve had more time to think and appreciate things, including luck. For me, luck is an escape valve. We all relish the idea that we have some sense of control over our destiny. It doesn’t matter if you prescribe to predestination, religion, fancy yourself a “free spirit”, or anything in between — these are all systems for managing your mental health.
Of course, every system has flaws. These unknowns pose a challenge to our foundations. They force us to re-evaluate our positions or embrace of them, and ultimately our commitment to them. Which brings us back to luck. Luck is a convenient stopgap for these situations. Luck helps us rationalize things that don’t fit nicely into our system of beliefs.
Luck, clearly, goes by many names. For me, luck is love. I’ve tried to summarize my system of beliefs for myself and still struggle to do so regularly. However, the pattern-matcher in me has clearly identified one unifying trait — when there’s love, there’s luck.
Luck, like love, is either real or fake, tangible or intangible. It blesses some, escapes others. It takes effort and care to behold it and very little to lose it. Luck can arrive when you need it most. Luck can get you through a difficult, even impossible, moment in your life. Luck can save you from yourself. Or was it love?
Luck is love, love is luck. It’s hard to argue everyone doesn’t deserve it.
Dedicated to Lizer.