Jim's Blog

JUST MY LUCK

My old friend, actor/screenwriter Jim Ritz used to have an expression when speaking of celebrities that were famous not due to talent, but to other circumstances; they were members of the “Hall of Luck”. Real talent gets into the “Hall of Fame”, but others get into the “Hall of Luck”. That always rang true for me.

Can you say, “Kardashian”?

Today, I suddenly discovered that I’m in the middle of experiencing some luck, and it opened up the whole sock drawer of thoughts about this “luck” thing.

The dictionary defines luck as: “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.” I guess that’s how those guys got into the “Hall of Luck”.

But a key word here is “Apparently”. And in my life I’ve come to agree with philosophers and others who claim that one creates his or her own luck, which would still fit the definition, because of that word “apparently”.

Many times I’ve been surprised at the seemingly unjustified rise in fortunes of some unknown (to me) individual, only to discover, with a little research that they have been doing excellent work for decades.

Which is what I’ve been busy trying to do, too, by the way.

So, when luck happens to walk in the door for me, or materialize, or pounce or whatever luck does, it startles me, because apparently, it happened by chance. Uncontrolled, uncaused, unrelated to any effort of my own.

I’m innocent! I swear!

Today as I get ready to rehearse with an outstanding band some songs chosen for me for a super-posh gathering, it suddenly strikes me that this is exactly what I would enjoy doing in this time and in this place, and the first word I think of is luck. I’ve become lucky all of a sudden. After all, I’m not known as a singer. (Did you know?)

And yet, the analytical part of me has to acknowledge that luck, pure luck, has nothing whatsoever to do with good fortune like this.

There is that important distinction between “luck” and “pure luck”. As in “by pure luck, a sack of gold coins fell off a truck in front of me.” (Although, even that… I mean, what caused me to be walking right there, right at that moment? Me, of course.)

So, maybe there is actually no such thing as “pure luck”.

I’ll have to get back to you about that.

Another thing I immediately thought of, upon noticing that luck was unexpectedly in my corner is, how much luck can I take? Which is to say, how much luck am I actually willing to experience? That would seem to me to have a lot to do with it. Because you sure won’t create luck for yourself if you have any back-off on receiving it.

One might think that having too much luck would create the problem of not enough challenge to push against = no game. If you already have ten million dollars in the bank, your desire to win the lottery is probably somewhat dampened. Lottery, schmottery!

I also spotted that I have a consideration that luck is exclusive in it’s effect. That the lucky one IS the lucky one, and everyone else just has to wait for their turn, suffering nobly and politely while the lucky guy of the hour enjoys his time in the sun.

But now it strikes me that luck, such as the variety I am experiencing, is not exclusive, but broadly beneficial, and therefore ethical. I’m going to do a great job at the concert, and people are going to have a fun time. Win-win.

What’s lucky for me is lucky for you, in other words. And vice versa.

So the question I ask myself, and which you might care to ask yourself sometime is, how much luck can you stand? Or, phrased a different way, couldn’t you stand a little more luck?
After all, I share my luck with others, like any decent person would. So why not order up more, since it’s bound to get shared and spread far and wide?
I think putting out an order for luck is a good and effective thing to do. Lay it on me. I love the luck I’ve had, but I am gonna really relish the luck that’s coming my way.

I’ll share mine if you’ll share yours.

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