On Luck

"with pink ovals, orange duckies, green toast, purple bunnies, blue bananas and rainbow half donuts!"

Do you believe in luck?

Nope. I believe humans make their own luck. If you work hard and long enough, you can attain your dream… Sorry, it was hard to keep a straight face while saying that. It’s pretty funny, you have to admit. As if the world was fair and anyone could achieve their dream in this fucked up, messy business called life. Bwa ha ha.

It is true that hard work does go a long way towards a better life. You have a better chance of succeeding if, for example, you leave your house rather than staying home in bed (unless your goal is to stay in bed forever), but a better life is far from guaranteed even if you do get out of bed in the morning. Time was, nothing was guaranteed in life except death and taxes, but nowadays only death is inevitable. Ask General Electric how much they paid in taxes in 2010. That would be a big, fat goose egg, nada, not one red cent. Paying taxes is only for the poor, silly.

Do I believe in luck, destiny, fate, magic, jinxes, lucky charms or any of the other rot that people sink their hopes and dreams into? Nope. Not one bit. If a rabbit foot was lucky, that rabbit would still be alive and hopping around on it. If there was anything we could do to change our “luck” in any way, all people would be doing it all the time.

All of us have probably tossed a coin into a wishing well at some point. We’ve made wishes as we blow out our birthday candles or said “star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, wish I may, wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight…” I realized that Jebus and stars had similar powers to grant wishes around the same time, i.e. none. Wishing on an inanimate, amorphous plasma ball in space radiating light and heat through thermonuclear fusion made about as much sense to me as wishing on a dead guy. Neither one of them had the power to do anything regarding my life down here on earth at all.

It’s scary to think that neither we nor some invisible sky king has any power over the complete nonsensicality of the universe–to think that no one is holding the reins. I get it. I was scared when I first thought about that, too. It’s much easier and more palatable for humans to convince ourselves that picking a penny up will give us good luck. It’s nice to have someone to pin the blame on besides ourselves. It gives us the illusion of control. If I put this horseshoe over my door, if I can find a four-leaf clover, if I throw this coin in a fountain, if I can just wish upon a falling star, then things will change for me.

“with pink ovals, orange duckies, green toast, purple bunnies, blue bananas and tricolor semi-circles!”

Life is full of randomness, and most of all, unfairness. Some people are sitting pretty while others are struggling to survive from day to day. If you want to call that randomness luck, for lack of a better term, go ahead. I won’t stop you, but I do not operate under the delusion that anything I do down here on earth, e.g. appealing to some magical sky power or lighting a candle for saint whomever, will have any effect on anything. If it makes you feel better about the unfairness of it all, if it makes it seems like you have some power over chaos, then go right ahead and rub that lucky mammal foot. Personally, the only lucky charms I believe in are the breakfast cereal. They’re magically delicious!™

Powered by Plinky