Saturday, May 28, 2011

Luck vs Opportunity

Thursday I had to head to the University, an hour and fifteen minutes away, to get some student loan paper work done. I really was not up to the task. I was so tired, and frustrated. Along with feeling overwhelmed and having to rely on hitch hiking to and from my classes being with out a vehicle for so long, my circumstance was all beginning to feel rather like a hopeless situation to me. I came so close to finally getting my car back, with the help of such generous and kind friends, and being able to sell a few of my paintings, I very unfortunately was sold a used motor that craped out the first day after having it put in and losing a lot of much needed cash to add to my "luck".

As I waited for a ride along the side of the road I looked down, to find a penny, a lucky penny, I thought perhaps and picking it up and placed it in my pocket. Walking ahead a little further I found another, then another one, three pennies I found in succession. How usual that is I thought, and would they bring me luck?

I've been thinking a lot about luck lately, because I keep hearing it from others, who are constantly wishing me luck. I tell them I don't need luck, I need prayer. I am not one to believe in luck, in that, I am not superstitious. I expect for some folks this notion is somehow reassuring, in thinking it's all one needs, like buying the right lottery ticket, meeting the right person, being there at the right time and place, or finding that we've suddenly been willed an inheritance by a wealthy relative, who has just died, that we never knew existed.

I very much relate to what Malcolm Gladwell speaks of, about luck and opportunity in his book, Outliers.

" To build a better world we need to replace the work of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages today that determine success - the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history - with a society that provides opportunities for all. " - Malcolm Gladwell

Coming into my fourth and final year of University I am acutely aware of how the combination of right circumstances can and often do result in successful employment as an artist or not. Artists need to be flexible and resourceful, work hard and have many employable skills. The making and selling artwork is more likely than not, going to be nearly enough, to be financially solvent. As artists, we can and must promote ourselves and support one another in order to enable a society that, " provides opportunities for all ."

In the mean time to all those who, "wish me luck" I appreciate the sentiment, pray for me instead, that's providing tangible opportunity for me, and I in turn will provide the same.


Bart said...

Rely on your karma !
Good things will come
because you are, I know
a good person.

Unknown said...

Thanks Bart!

Betsy Grant said...

The only prayer worth saying that I know of is in essence - "Thy Will Be Done", this avoids unecessary interference from well-meaning others. Then you begin to see life from a different viewpoint, and that Spirit knows very well what is best for you, which also includes those you interact with. "The greatest good for all concerned" is also a good prayer that keeps our attention off the natural, limited personal viewpoint.

Unknown said...

Thank you Betsy. Any prayer is better than no prayer! Your thoughts are always appreciated. Catherine