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What is "luck"?

category international | consumer issues | opinion/analysis author Wednesday December 22, 2004 12:00author by i remember Report this post to the editors

a reflection on chance.

As I watched the annual Televised lottery numbers taken from the drum this morning by little orphan children, and the first prize awarded to a ticket whic had been bought in the Catalan Town of "Sort" which translates to the english "Luck", I thought about the concept of luck as one of the other writers of the collective in the last days as wondered about "Belief".

The biggest lotteries on the continent have names, the pre-Christmas lottery in Spain is called "the fat one" and the company "Bruja d'Oro" or "witch of gold" boast the most ticket sales.

Certainly many people go to the town of Surt to buy their tickets thinking the name of the place will give them "luck", and so the "odds" of the winning ticket being bought there are thought to be "better".

But at end, it is the orphan children of Madrid who pick the numbers from the drum, and indeed are not they lucky to be so well housed and fed and have their fifteen minutes of fame on TV?

Wasn't the buyer of the ticket in Surt, lucky to live in the Spanish state and not have problems translating their "surt" into "suerte" and claiming the 900,000approx Euros?

Maybe they won't be lucky, maybe the money will bring them grief...

Wasn't Harney and Mc Dowell and all the rest lucky to get the parents they did and the education and opportunities they did and do so well?

Weren't all the soldiers who killed and survived the spanish civil war, the irish civil war, the european wars lucky?

Weren't all the young men who weren't drafted linto armies lucky?

Wasn't the thief on the cross lucky just to get his leg broken and hobble away?

My friends in NYC tell me they were lucky not to be in the Twin Towers that day.

My friend in the wheelchair with whom I was that day, says she was unlucky to be in the car crash, but lucky to come out of the coma.

My students told me they were lucky not to have relatives in Madrid that other day.

Some say they are unlucky to lose governments.

Some say there is nothing as luck, it is all destined.

Luck seems for many to walk hand in hand with superstition. The belief that by doing certain things, or saying certain things we may change the order of cuases and effects.

Those religious fanatics who knock on my door, telling me how a name ought be pronounced to stem the end of the world, are as superstitious as those who would read cards for me and tell me will I meet any tall dark strangers...

Those of the calvanist tradition and many oriental traditions believe luck is a sign of favour from God a sign of being "elect".

Some dedicate their fine monkey brains to the analysis of numbers, statistics and look for micro and macro indicators daily to predict and see the future trends, of stock markets, share prices, currency values, share of budget for old people, demographic increase of those who will survive birth, global warming et cetera...

Some just "live day by day".

"I am lucky through my unluck", somehow would never have seemed a line from any Aquinine or Augustine text.

But the poor wth less than a Euro a day go to heaven.
and the cows of the EU get 4eu a day.

Some farmers say they are lucky to have black sheep...

author by jeffpublication date Thu Dec 23, 2004 04:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

but I feel lucky right now- I am listening to UK GarAge on KISS FM. WIIICKKKEEEEDDDDD!!!

Normally I just listen to noise and experimentral music, and neo folk bands like Death in June

author by Jordipublication date Thu Dec 23, 2004 14:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Actually the word sort does mean luck in Catalan but that is not the origin of the name of the town. The full name of the town is Pont de Sort, pont meaning bridge. sort is this case is derived from a very old basque word for bridge .ie Pont de Sort = Bridge of Bridge albeit in two languages at once.

author by Seanpublication date Thu Dec 23, 2004 23:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I read the following legend on a spam e-mail:

"Diligence is the mother of good luck."

Lee Trevino the champion golfer put it another way when he said:

"The more I practice the luckier I get."

The old golfers around Greenore used to say:

"You make your own luck."

However we all feel the fear of the capriciousness of the gods whether we are trying to do the right thing or not.

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