Lots of Luck
In the May 2016 edition of The Atlantic writer Robert Frank outlines the role he and others think luck plays in our lives. Frank knows something about luck when his heart failed and he was rescued by paramedics just minutes after his heart stopped because they were in the area rather at their home base miles away. He was revived when 90% of those afflicted don’t make it. He goes on to outline what researchers have found about the role good fortune plays in our lives.
This got me to thinking about my own life retrospectively (something I do all too often Aleene says) and what Lady Luck has made possible for me.
|RC drinking his morning coffee...about 1960|
|Our farm house as it looks today|
I was lucky to be born with some musical talent and to a mother who shepherded me toward vocal music and the experiences I gained from rehearsing and performing. I should also mention the satisfaction I got out of appreciating great musical works. Lucky me.
Fortune played a role in my life choices, I am sure...where I went to college, what classes I took and the young men with whom I lived. I know that I made good choices, but where there was no reason to go one direction or another; I was lucky I chose the roads I traveled.
I was lucky to be ordered to a ship on the East Coast vs. the West Coast during the Vietnam War. I served in the Mediterranean instead of Yankee Station. My good fortune continued while serving on board Roosevelt, since I served with some fine officers and men. When comparing notes with contemporary navy junior officers, mine was an uplifting experience not a sad one.
The only time I did a comprehensive job search with a resume and all, I chose Campbell Soup (and they chose me) when there were other good options and multiple offers. When I arrived for my first day of work five of the twelve men in my department were former Naval Officers….and two were Penn State grads. Was that luck in that I had made those choices which made me more attractive to that organization? You see I learned so much at CSC and after all, they moved us to West Michigan where we stayed for 35 years. I feel lucky that we raised our family there.
Then there was my choice (or her choice) for a marriage partner. Lady luck smiled on Aleene and me as she put us on the same track to find each other and discover our common bond: a strong family. While circumstances and choices pushed us close together, I really think that making a marriage decision at a young age (Aleene was 21, I 23) had a lot to do with luck.
We were lucky to be able to conceive children, a boy and a girl, and that they turned out to be Jeff and Amy. Yes, there is a lot to be grateful for whether it was luck or fate or God’s will.
Frank concludes his Atlantic article by saying that each time he introduces his study of luck he gets people to reflect on their lives and it inevitably ends up making them happy. As Garfield the cat famously said, “I resemble that remark.”