Luck, Life, and the Laughable Lottery of Existence

The role of luck in life

In our grand exploration of life’s most profound questions, one topic that regularly creeps up, like a piece of popcorn stuck between your teeth, is the role of LUCK.

Don’t get me wrong, if there’s anything we humans like more than indulging in existential angst, it’s giving credit to an invisible, indescribable, and above all, indifferent force for our successes and failures. Enter luck: the whimsical, unpredictable, often frustrating wildcard in our perfectly planned poker game of life.

Now, let’s begin our discussion with the ‘born into’ lottery. Remember when you got to choose your birthplace, parents, genetic makeup, and whether or not you’d have that weird little toe that kind of curls under the others? No? Well, me neither. It’s as if some cosmic roulette wheel decided our starting conditions. You might think that these factors play a significant role in your life trajectory. But no, surely not. It must all be down to your unyielding determination and relentless hard work. Because, of course, we all have the same opportunities, don’t we?

Let’s stroll down memory lane and revisit the joyous world of our education, shall we? Remember when Mrs. Smith at the elementary school gave you an ‘A’ just because your last-minute model of the solar system (made entirely of tennis balls and glitter glue) resembled something out of a Picasso nightmare? Ah, good times. Then there was that high school math teacher who gave you a passing grade because you could recite the quadratic formula backwards while hopping on one foot. Sheer skill, wasn’t it? Or was it…luck?

Then we grow up and move on to the job market. Ah, the glorious battleground of competence and skill, where only the most qualified individuals are chosen. Except for that one time when you got your dream job because your interviewer was a fan of the same obscure anime series you liked. Or when you nailed that presentation not because of the weeks of preparation, but because the client was in a good mood after finding a quarter on the sidewalk. Pure coincidence? Maybe. But it’s much more fun to imagine some invisible force sprinkling stardust on your life path, ensuring your effortless slide into success.

And who could forget the love of your life? That person who completes you, understands you, and, most importantly, tolerates your questionable cooking. Remember how you met them? Was it when you both reached for the same avocado at the grocery store? Or when your dogs decided to tangle their leashes together in the park? These moments of serendipitous connection that change your life forever are surely the result of careful planning, strategic decisions, and meticulous calculations, right? Yes, because we all know love is just a game of chess, and has nothing to do with luck, or fate, or the alignment of the stars.

Now, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room — the role of luck in success. You see, whenever someone gets unusually successful, it’s customary to attribute it to luck. After all, how else could someone possibly succeed more than you have, if not for the meddling of Lady Luck? It’s not like they might have made different choices, taken bigger risks, or worked harder. No, that would imply a level of control over one’s life that’s simply ludicrous!

And let’s not forget the big one: health. It’s simply a product of a balanced diet, regular exercise, and good genes. It has nothing to do with luck, right? But then there’s that 105-year-old chain-smoking grandma who credits her longevity to a shot of whiskey a day, while your health-conscious cousin got a sprained ankle while merely contemplating the concept of a treadmill. No luck involved there at all, obviously!

At this point, you may be wondering, “Are you saying that my life is entirely dictated by the whims of fate and there’s nothing I can do about it?” No, of course not. That would mean you’re just a marionette dancing on the strings of chance, which sounds a tad too dramatic, even for me. It’s more like a mix — a little luck here, a touch of hard work there, a pinch of opportunities, and a healthy dash of perspective. Much like a quirky cocktail, or a complex stew recipe, or any other culinary metaphor that tickles your fancy.

Let’s talk about our dear friend, ‘Unluck’, too. That’s right, you know what I’m referring to — those unfortunate happenstances that have no apparent explanation other than the perverse pleasure luck derives from pulling the rug out from under you just as you’ve gotten your balance. Got drenched in a sudden downpour on the day you decided to wear white? Unluck! Accidentally sent that embarrassing text to the wrong person? Unluck! Stubbed your toe on the one piece of furniture you swore wasn’t there before? Oh, you better believe that’s Unluck!

To be fair, perhaps luck is a little like Schroedinger’s cat, existing in two states at once, both present and absent. When things go right, we conveniently overlook it, attributing success to our efforts, skill, and genius strategy. However, when things go wrong, it suddenly materializes, the perfect scapegoat for our follies. Is luck just our psychological trick to make sense of an inherently chaotic world? Perhaps. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s all part of the cosmic joke that we’re not yet in on.

So, what’s the deal with luck? Is it the great puppeteer in the sky, a force to be feared and respected, the secret distributor of fortune and misfortune? Or is it a creation of our imagination, a comforting lie we tell ourselves to navigate the choppy waters of existence?

Well, the punchline, is that luck, like most things in life, is what you make of it. It’s an excuse, a comfort, a blessing, a curse, a reason to celebrate, and a reason to commiserate. It’s the underdog’s hope and the cynic’s despair. It’s the x-factor in the equation of life that keeps things interesting. But remember, while you can’t control the cards that luck deals you, how you play them is entirely up to you. So, wear your lucky socks, avoid black cats, throw some salt over your shoulder, or simply laugh at these age-old superstitions, because in the end, luck’s biggest joke might just be how seriously we take it.

The role of luck in life is similar to that of the mysteriously popular pineapple on a pizza — some swear by it, others strongly oppose it, but most just accept it, eat around it, and get on with the meal, err, I mean life. So, here’s to luck — the most respected scapegoat, the most unsung hero, and the divine clown of our life’s circus. May it continue to mystify, amuse, and sprinkle our lives with equal measures of serendipity and face-palms.