Luck

Abstract Feb 27, 2020

Luck is defined as success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions. We have all, at some point in time, read articles about successful people, and what makes them successful. Well, yesterday, while I was reading up for this speech, I stumbled upon an article which shed light on how luck and success go together. It said that an experiment had been performed with an ecosystem of humans with variable talent, and the result of the experiment concluded that people with average talent and above average luck were more likely to make it big than people with above average talent and less luck.

I recently read a book, The Zoya Factor, which told the story of an object Indian cricket team which got so dependent on luck, that as a lucky charm, a girl was made to eat breakfast with them, before every match in order for them to win. This made the players lose faith in themselves and in each other. I think that while luck may influence success, we as individuals should ignore it as much as possible, because it only leads to a depreciation of effort.

Does prayer have any effect on luck? And even if rationally, we think not, before a big test, haven't we all muttered feverishly beneath our breaths and prayed to God to grant us luck? Well, I have. I'm a devout atheist, but before the JEE exams, my parents got me so flustered, that I couldn't help sending up some pleas for an easy paper, an hour before the exam. That exam went well, and I assumed it was the prayer that did it, so i slacked off a little before the next exam, and prayed a little more. This turned out to be a bad idea and I don't pray anymore.

I do believe in karma though. I believe that the universe rewards those of us who are kind, with luck. And any way you want to phrase it, what goes around, does come around.

Superstition though, is another thing altogether. Superstition is what makes people smear spit on people and bite other people's fingers. Superstition is what makes people draw black dots on babies, it is what makes people hunt frantically for wood anytime they speak of bad things. Superstition is, also, what makes grown, literate human beings, hunt down black cats and all the other purveyors of bad luck, and kill them. Do you know, superstition is a leading killer of animals and sometimes, even humans? It is a prime example of the madness brought on by the too enthusiastic pursuit of luck. But, superstition also keeps us humble, or so Kenny Sebastian says. He says that the acknowledgement of something out of our control every time we do something big, brings about some humility in us.

I'd like to sum this up by saying that we must try to get the best out of luck, without letting it go to our heads.

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