What do we mean by luck?
Whatever game we enjoy, be it roulette, blackjack, poker or any other betting game, luck determines (at least to some extent) the outcome. But what
exactly do we mean by luck?
Luck refers to a chance event, but it goes further than mere chance. It can be either good or bad. It can be attributed to an object or a time interval, for
instance as in a lucky coin, or a lucky day. It can be embodied in a person; there can be lucky people and unlucky people. It can come in runs as in the
experience of repeated losses (bad luck) or repeated wins (good luck). You can make lucky guesses and have unlucky marriages. Luck is pervasive in
everything we do. Luck is ubiquitous.
Nearly all of us believe in luck. We perceive it as something out there; something if not quite tangible, something still quite real. Although we are not
capable of controlling it, we certainly believe that we are capable of influencing it. Why otherwise would we touch wood? Luck is a phenomenon.
Luck can be passed on. We wish each other good luck, even when we might not truly mean it.
Luck distorts probability, or at least our perception of it. A run of wins is considered to be a lucky streak whereas in reality it is just a statistical event.
The ancients embodied our perception of luck in a god. The Romans called her Fortuna. She controlled the wheel of fortune, the rotation of which
would bring good luck to some and bad luck to others. Harvests were controlled by her.
Some philosophers dismiss the idea of luck. They say that believing in luck takes away aspects of the way we control our lives and diminishes our
attitudes to personal responsibility.
Perhaps they are right from a logical viewpoint, but can any of us really relinquish a fundamental belief in luck? It would be a far duller world without
Fortuna, without Lady Luck.
We hope that you have it in buckets.
About the Author
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