I Should Be So Lucky - A column by Beth Ritchie

By Beth Ritchie of https://propergrownup.com/ 

I write this on Chinese New Year, as we head into the year of the Ox. We have our lockdown support bubble coming over this evening to eat Chinese food and share all the luck that this time of year brings. I’m even giving lucky cats as party favours (although I’m glossing over the fact that the cute figurines have “Made in Japan” printed on the bottom – rookie mistake). I’m all about taking the opportunity to generate as much luck as possible, wherever it comes from.

Having said all this, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the word “lucky”. I strongly concur with Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage, who said “I hate that word – lucky. It cheapens a lot of hard work.”

My friends and I had a debate recently when friend A received a promotion at work, and friend B said she was lucky. Friend A pointed out that she had worked hard for her position. Friend B said that she hadn’t experienced the same bad luck as some of the rest of us and this contributed to her success. I agreed with Friend A, luck had nothing to do with it, it’s not like she won the lottery.

I really hate it when people use the word lucky, particularly when talking about success. Because not only does it negate the hard work that has been put in (how often do we really bear witness to other people’s hard work anyway?) but it also shows that they have no idea of the hardships someone might have faced.

Whether talking about hard times or success, “lucky” is a flippant word that completely devalues hardship, hard work and individual triumphs over adversity.

Years ago, I was bemoaning my own tough time to a friend who had recently been through what I would consider the worst thing any human could ever endure. After an hour of snot bubbly, ugly sobbing, I said I felt bad for crying to her who had been through so much. And she berated me, saying that you can’t compare hardships.

And she’s right, one person’s end of the world is another person’s walk in the park. You just don’t know what someone’s been through or how tough they’ve had it until you’ve walked in their shoes.

Likewise, I don’t think you can compare “blessings”, because we all have different needs, wants and goals.

This subject riles me because removes free will and control from the equation. And as free-spirited control freak this makes me extremely uncomfortable.

The presence or absence of luck suggests that something other than us decides whether we are deemed worthy of happiness and success. That we don’t have control over our own destiny. In that case, nothing any of us ever do will make any difference anyway, so why bother? This isn’t a healthy approach to life in my humble opinion.

Really, we should just be kind, be happy for everyone’s wins and be empathetic for anyone who is struggling. I do believe that this is the truest way to generate and distribute good luck.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in luck. I’m still hedging my bets and cleaning my house, not washing my hair, watching the waving cat, and giving out red envelopes.

So happy Chinese New Year dear readers, I wish you nothing but luck, success, health, and happiness in 2021.