What’s Luck Got To Do With It?


Perhaps Tina Turner could take her 1980’s hit single and change the word love to luck and show us what it’s really all about.

Luck is a rather strange phenomenon that has been around since the dawn of man on the earth, no doubt. It’s interesting how it works - when it does, or doesn’t work - again, when it does, and how many different flavours and varieties there are to it.

When things don’t seem to go our way, we are down on our luck. When we have a huge financial windfall of cash, Lady luck is in the room. Irish people seem to exude luck, although statistically speaking they have about as much of it as the rest of us.

When people try out for something new, get married, go for a new job, etc, we wish them good luck. When they don’t get what they were after, or it doesn’t work out, it’s bumb luck.

If someone happens to happen upon a bad circumstance through no fault of their own it’s dumb luck. If they do something they shouldn’t do and something bad happens it’s bad luck.

If you manage to pick out the winning lottery numbers it could be your lucky day, but if you don’t it’s just the luck of the draw. 

People carry around good luck charms to ward off bad luck and or evil spirits that might cause their luck to fade away. Although this has never been proven to work, you will not convince some people of this fact.

The Chinese even have a symbol that represents luck, and if you are lucky enough (no pun intended) to have been born under this symbol, your life will be better than everyone else’s. Heck a whole industry of forecasting people’s luck or lack thereof was engineered in China around tiny slips of paper with cryptic messages on them stuffed inside of cookies. I wonder where they get the tiny typewriters to type those messages, and why the French translations on the back often make no more sense than the English side.

Some strange customs have come about in partnership with the luck phenomenon; In Las Vegas, people blow on the dice before rolling. Early sailors would not allow women on board for fear they would upset the sea spirits and sink the ship. Many people carry a lucky rabbits foot - something I could never understand the logic behind, because it certainly didn’t bring any luck to the poor rabbit that owned it.

Don’t walk under a ladder, don’t let a black cat cross your path, seeing 4 crows at the same time means you’ll inherit big money, The list of good and bad omens goes on and on, and is different all over the world.

Early caveman must have sat around wondering about why it was sometimes he could catch the food he was chasing, and why other times no matter what he did, it got away. Perhaps this was the very origins of luck.

Perhaps Mr. caveman one day noticed some quirky circumstance - the moss on the trees was wet every time he successfully caught lunch, and so he decided that this must have some bearing on when was a good time to catch food, and so only went hunting when the moss was wet. It is human nature to look for patterns in everything, and luck could be nothing more than a pattern I suppose.

Perhaps this is why people who play scratch tickets only want the one with the bent corner, or the one with serial numbers starting with 3. Maybe this is why Bingo players are so fanatic about the way they stamp their cards. Why some people won’t sit at a table in a coffee shop that has 3 chairs at it, or why certain people never drink the last drop of something, but leave it in the bottom of the empty container in the fridge for someone else to find.

Whatever your system of luck is, I hope that it works for you for all things good. If you don’t believe in luck and don’t have a system, not having a system, is a system in a sense, and that works too, so good luck with that.

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