February 8, 2009

Was I really lucky?

I like the theory that all people have the same amount of luck. It is the distribution over time that makes the difference. Some people are lucky early in their lives and run out of luck fast (Jimmy Hendrix). While some have luck sporadically distributed over their lifetime (most of the people) and then there is the third kind, they are not at all lucky early in their life. Eventually they do get lucky, but by that time they go through so much shit that they just feel they are lucky to be just alive (lead character in any Jeffrey Archer bestseller). It is the third kind that brings out the beauty about our perception of luck.

On what basis can we call a situation lucky? Like for instance, I was walking by the road a few months back, deep in thought, not really paying attention to the surroundings and suddenly a huge dry branch of a palm tree crashed missing me by less than a couple of feet! I just stayed there, kind of shocked. If that didn’t miss me, it would’ve definitely been a serious injury.

I didn’t move for half a minute (from the shock), people from the other side of the road rushed to make sure I was alright. And more than one person said that I was really lucky. The first thing that came to my mind was, Am I? I mean, I almost died but did not, and hence I am very lucky”. That is hardly the definition of luck. If it is, then everyone alive is lucky because they did not die an unfortunate death yet. I should also probably be worried every time I go to the road and come back home safely because I might be running out of my quota of luck, soon.
Do you think I was lucky to have missed the branch that day? How do you define luck? Please comment. With some “luck” I might find some real answers ;).

silhouette, water color in painter. Thanks to Sashi :)