“Diligence is the mother of good luck.” Benjamin Franklin
A bald head and a head of hair are the only two things I envisioned lying underneath a hat. To my surprise, the police officer who rode the train with me last week proved that a hat can be a receptacle for more than a scalp and a head of hair. For when the police officer took off his hat, tapped inside, I saw a small card with the image of a Catholic Saint, which Saint, I don’t know. I can imagine that the Saint is one that adherents of the faith believe will protect one from harms way, or perhaps a patron Saint specifically handpicked for police officers. Whatever the origin of the Saint, its resting place underneath the police officers hat, for me, cut through the tough exterior of his bullet-proof vest and 9 millimeter gun, exposing an individual who, to some extent, leans on the perceived power behind the image of the Saint, or has individuals in his life that believe in its power for him. The element of religion aside, the Saint card under the police officers hat is not unlike the rabbit’s foot on a key chain or the lucky coin in someones purse or wallet. For centuries, people have clung to the belief in the power of objects to bring them “good luck.” Whether it be protection against evil, guidance in choosing lottery numbers, or positive energy crafted to attract Mr, or Ms. Right, good luck charms abound as does the belief in luck.
What is luck? Is it an energy, is it fate? Is luck something that can be drawn to oneself through an object or an image? Whatever ones stance on luck, it’s hard to conclude anything other than luck as driving the good fortune of those who win mega-million jackpot’s. These type of individuals in particular seem to fly in the face of the often touted definition of luck being a function of preparation meeting opportunity. To my knowledge, little to no expertise is required to choose lottery numbers. Sure, there are rituals and methods some people employ in deciding which numbers to color in on lottery forms, but these are as random as the numbers that pop up in the lottery machine.
While I do not believe that a charm or an image can ward off evil or lead to good fortune, increasingly, I have come to believe that one’s approach to life, their energy (vibe) has much to do with respect to the circumstances that flow in and throughout of their lives. Now, this is not to say that I believe that some energy force provided the optimal backdrop for an individual to win the mega- millions, I think some element of “fate” was behind that one in a billion occurrence. Rather, I am referring to the attitude with which one chooses to approach their day-to-day life experiences. In my estimation, one of the chief determinants to attracting good fortune is the ability to view challenges as opportunities to grow, instead of harmful and limiting obstacles to success. This attitude welcomes the chance to go in one more time in lieu of walking away. Moreover, the drive to approach life in this positive and informative way provides the foundation for which one may rest when things don’t go as originally planned. Of course, possessing a positive and tenacious spirit is only a part of the formula, albeit a critical part of the formula. One should possess the skill and creativity necessary to competently and realistically forge ahead with their endeavors, unlike the stream of American Idol cast offs that insist on trying to fit a circle in a squared hole. Granted, some with no discernible skills or any iota of creativity have achieved what many may deem to be success, however, I believe this is the exception, not the rule.
At the end of the day, a mild reliance and belief in a good luck charm or ritual is quirky and by and large harmless. It is when ones belief in good luck or ritual overrides their responsibility to be clear with themselves and those around them that their lives typically fall out-of-order. Life being life, anything can happen, but no matter what transpires we ultimately have control over how we choose to process what is happening to us and around us. Will we seek to find the lesson and opportunity in what is happening, or will we run out to find another charm or ritual to increase our luck? The choice to be positive or negative, to keep pressing or give up, to attract greater challenges and opportunities is not a function of what charm we possess or what ritual we uphold, it is something that we cultivate inside of ourselves. It is my desire to keep cultivating a spirit that is not easily defeated and welcomes failure as an opportunity to grow, accomplishing this would make me lucky indeed.