You are lucky if you believe in luck

<img src="luck.jpg" alt="Luck" width="300" height="199">

Is luck real or is luck superstition?

“They call you Lady Luck
But there is room for doubt
At times you have a very
Unladylike way of running out …

The pickings have been lush
And yet before this evening’s over
You might give me the brush
You might refuse to stay
So the best that I can do is pray:

Luck be a lady tonight.”

The gambler’s song from Guys and Dolls is a pretty good description of the modus operandi of those that gamble, but does it sound familiar to you? Even those of us that do not indulge in games of chance have some rituals that we feel protect us, despite the adherence to hardened scientific theory in other areas of our lives. From the child that religiously refuses to step on the cracks in the pavement to prevent imaginary wolves from eating him, to positive visualizations to protect our loved ones, we have some belief in luck.

Some defy logic

I know a woman who is an abject alcoholic. She no longer performs meaningful or remunerative work, and depends on the goodwill of relatives to provide her with a roof and a plate of food. Yet she has won substantial amounts of money from the national lottery. She does not even play the lotto regularly! The money she does win does not go towards those that support her. She instantaneously acquires fair-weather friends and they have an orgy of consumerism. The amusement value is great, as she drunkenly waves from the back seat of a new car in one of her fabulous hats, but naturally the entertainment is short lived. There is no denying that in probability theory she is bit of an anomaly. So what is this phenomenon? Is it luck? The lucky streak does not serve her in any long term sense, but her brief happiness is perhaps all she wants. Does she have an expectation that she projects into the energy field that attracts lotto wins to her?

I incline towards sheer but random luck, whether good or bad: the bullet that does not strike soldier A but kills soldier B because A bent down to tie his shoe lace; the woman whose heel broke and she bought other shoes so was not in her office in the Twin Towers when 9/11 happened; the genetic accident that creates a Down Syndrome child; the virus that attacks one sibling and not another.

Whether destiny of attitude shapes our ‘luck’ I cannot say, but since we do not know, isn’t it better to believe you are lucky? In that sense you will then be luckier as you will be a happier camper and ‘read’ whatever happens to you as a run of luck.

Author: Suenel Bruwer Holloway is a playwright, poet, speech writer, translator and editor as well as guest writer. She specializes in satirical social commentary, the arts, education, book reviews and three course picnics. She comes from a long line of hat wearers.

Suenel is available for guest posts and can be contacted at the e-mail address provided.

Contact: florabundu@lando.co.za