Around this time each year, we are reminded of all the things that are supposed to bring good luck: four leafed clovers, horseshoes, leprechauns and big pots of gold hiding at the end of rainbows.
In light of St. Patrick’s Day and all the visions of “getting lucky,” it’s easy to focus on the urges that make us feel as if we could use a bit of good luck to get us through the semester. What exactly is luck, though?
The whole concept of luck implies a complete randomness to the outcome of certain events or given circumstances; it seems to be generally out of our control. Luck just sort of happens when it happens without any warning or preparation.
That very concept leads me to ask a fundamental question: are we lucky to be in college, or are we fortunate?
Luck and fortune are often mentioned in the same breath, but to me, being fortunate is far different from being lucky. Fortune seems to be something that doesn’t just appear randomly, but is a culmination of putting energy into something you want, making the most of your opportunities and receiving the benefits of your work. This also applies to the negative side of that coin, i.e. “unfortunate events.”
For example, with the stress of midterms still fresh in our minds, many of us may be thinking, “I sure am lucky to be passing right now.” I’d say we’re fortunate to have our good grades. Studying for hours on end, attending every lecture and going that extra mile to ensure a good grade on a difficult exam isn’t a random event that is out of our control. On the flip side, not studying, skipping class and slacking off can produce unfortunate results.
With the amount of pressure we face on a daily basis, it’s quite easy to overlook the fact that we, as college students, are tremendously fortunate to have the opportunities that have been placed before us.
We have the chance to pursue a degree of our choosing at a university that we chose to attend. It’s easy to get caught up in the “daily grind,” but when you stop to think about it, the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Fortune doesn’t necessarily always have to deal with possessions or physical belongings; it can be circumstantial as well.
As you push forward in the semester, think of all the things in your life that you would consider to be there because of luck. Then, put them to the test; are those things random, or are they there because of created opportunity?
I’ll leave you with a quote that sums up the basis of the luck/fortune debate: “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”