community organization

Lucky?

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Some people are just born lucky.  They win at everything, they almost never break out, and they are healthy.  These people, if they have children, have healthy children who like to read AND play sports.  They have great apartments or homes, great jobs, great friends, and great opportunities.

But is this true?

Of course it is.  Of course it is not.  Immaturity in our high school years carried over into adulthood leads us to see some as luckier than us, just floating through life on a cloud of magical fairy dust, never getting sick or dandruff, never separating or offending their mother-in-law’s pasta.  Ever.

But aging has some wonderful properties, not the least of which is reading so much good fiction where you get to understand that the insides of people, even the lucky people, are confused and worrisome, five steps forward and thirty steps back, just as odd duckling as any one of the unluckiest among us.

So what is luck, exactly?  I suppose one could call any fortuitous circumstance lucky.  If I go to work and make it there without getting caught by traffic that, I suppose could be construed as luck.  However, for another person, obtaining an “all clear” card from the doctor after a battle with an unforgiving illness might be considered lucky indeed.

Winning the lottery is lucky; but then we’ve heard so many stories of lottery winners who end up destitute through misspending and greed (their own, that of their friends and neighbors…)

But for me, the truth has always been that the more I focus my energy on reaching out to other people– whether they are children, students, family, husband, friends or others I come into contact with, the less I really dwell on the level of luck or unluckiness I have or don’t have.  It seems something’s worth noticing, but maybe it’s even more important to just appreciate– that which we all do have in common… our own life.

For those amazing souls who have lived through the most trying circumstances, like war, disease, heartbreak, illness, deaths of loves ones and financial crises; yet still retain their love and appreciation for others and for their lives, for these people, luck is not a fancy car but an opportunity to take yet another breath and see another sunset.

Maybe we should all feel so lucky indeed!

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