Think about luck

You’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do you, gentle reader?  

What do you think about when you think about luck? How lucky are you feeling today? How lucky do you feel to have awoken this morning? It might not seem as if Lady Luck is favouring you this minute. Yet good fortune abounds for you, even now.

If you’re reading these words, you have at a minimum the good fortune of being alive.

Your good fortune in all probability does not end there.

Our infinite good fortune

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I have been thinking a lot about luck since the pandemic transformed the world. These times can teach us things that perhaps we should already know. A few weeks back, in a post entitled Infinite good fortune?, I wrote the following:

These are not the best of times. It is an understatement to say that we live in a turbulent period. Anxiety and powerlessness can feel like the most natural reaction to the out-of-control events shaping our world. It can be hard not to feel overwhelmed.

Yet even now, there are moments that put your life and concerns into perspective and remind you of the infinite good fortune that underpins all things.

The consequences of the pandemic have been shocking and severe. Dreadful news abounds. This week, the death toll in the UK passed the appalling milestone of 100,000. The impact on mental health and the economic consequences of the pandemic and of life in lockdown are likely to reverberate for years.

Yet even the ability to go into lockdown can be seen as an example of great good fortune. These words from a Twitter thread by Dr Jagadish J Hiremath – posted in the early days of the pandemic – offer a compelling perspective:

“All those who are practising social distancing and imposed a lockdown on themselves must appreciate how privileged we are.”

Dr Hiremath argues that lockdowns and social distancing might be considered luxurious when compared with what others in this world are going through:

“Social distancing is a privilege. It means you live in a house large enough to practise it. Hand washing is a privilege too. It means you have access to running water. Hand sanitisers are a privilege. It means you have money to buy them.”

The change in pace of life that lockdown has forced on so many of us also means that we have the rare privilege to see our lives through a different lens. Narrowed horizons can mean that there is nothing to distract us from all we have available to us right now, good or bad. Social distancing forces into focus all that we value, all that we love. 

I think about luck often

Kuroki Neko by Hishida Shunso

It seems I am not the only one who has been thinking about luck of late. My good friend Russ Jones* responded to Infinite good fortune? with a beautiful story in just three short tweets, a perfect life lesson in fewer than 740 characters.** My thanks to Mr Jones for his kind permission for me to quote these words here. Russ says:

RussJonesThinkAboutLuck

“I think about luck often. Age 40, fit non smoker, I got cancer. People said I was unlucky.

Nonsense. I live in an era when healthcare could fix me, in a rich nation, on a fertile planet. The quantities of luck involved in that are staggering, and one tumour doesn’t undo that.

Our lives are the consequence of a billion million-to-one chances, over billions years. And without each piece of unlikely good fortune, none of us would exist – of if we did, wouldn’t have the cognisance to know it.

Our good fortune vastly outweighs brief unhappiness…

tl:dr,

It’s good to be alive.”

Amen.

I am thankful that Mr Jones is not only here with us today, but also that he so generously shares his witty, wise and wonderful words with us each day via Twitter.

Our good fortune vastly outweighs brief unhappiness.

The sun will rise again tomorrow. And the day after.

The world will recover. We will be back out there again. We have what it takes to get through this.

You’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do you, gentle reader?

MJCartySunrise24January2021

FOOTNOTES

* Russ Jones is the creator and author of The Week in Tory hashtag on Twitter. He is also the wonderful soul behind the #FiveQuidFoodBank campaign to raise funds for The Trussell Trust. You can read more about #FiveQuidFoodBank here. Please do follow Russ (AKA @russincheshire) on Twitter if you do not already.

** Here are the links to Russ’s thread in individual tweets: Tweet 1; Tweet 2; and Tweet 3.

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