You might say I’m “lucky.”
My family is healthy. I’m healthy. I live in a safe neighborhood. I send my kids to a good school. I’m able to write full time. I have a husband who loves me, gets me, and believes in me.
Is this all because I’m lucky?
Does some benevolent being — say, God — bestow this luck on me for no good reason?
I refuse to believe that I am “lucky” and here is why:
Because that would mean that people who don’t have these things are unlucky.
And that’s not fair, either.
I believe that a lot of life is within our control.
But also that so much is completely out of our control.
A family just like mine that is struck with tragedy or illness or a job loss or other challenging issues is not necessarily “unlucky.”
Some things they could control. Others they could not.
When we talk about “luck” are we saying that someone achieved success just by the stroke of good fortune? Sometimes. But sometimes not.
But I do believe, however, that we can tilt the scales in creating our own good and bad luck.
For instance, sometimes people use “luck” as an excuse to not take responsibilities for their actions — or inactions.
For instance, the woman who runs out of gas in a snowstorm and gets frostbite and has to have her feet and hands amputated might believe she’s “unlucky.”
In fact, she might look at the woman driving past her on the freeway as “lucky” without realizing that woman made a point to always keep her gas tank at least halfway full and who had an emergency supply kit and blankets in her car.
Or the guy who gets arrested for driving under the influence while all his other friends made it home after drinking just as much as he did. They feel lucky. He feels unlucky.
Is it really the luck of the draw?
It is a lot about perception, isn’t it?
I’m not going to call myself and my life “lucky.” I’m not going to call it anything.
Instead, what I’m going to do is be grateful. I’m going to never take a minute of this life for granted, if I can help it. I’m going to remember that each and every one of us has our own struggles — visible and invisible. We are all in this together.
*Forgive the Dirty Harry quote for my title. I couldn’t resist.