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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Bad Luck? Or Something Else?
Article ID: 12340
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Talitha Dragonfly
Posted: August 24th. 2008
Times Viewed: 3,237
Some people outwardly appear to be worse off than others. Is this due to back luck? Or could the reasons actually be something much deeper?
Many philosophers and psychologists answer this question by saying that someone who claims that he or she is a victim of bad luck is simply trying to invalidate and nullify any or all personal responsibility. I am inclined to agree.
Now I'm not saying that I take the view of the nuns that taught at my grade school while I was growing up. I remember during the sixth grade when a classmate of mine fell down in the playground during recess. This girl badly twisted her ankle while playing a rowdy game of tag. It was so bad that her ankle was a bloated and purple monstrosity. One of the nuns told the girl that she had fallen and hurt herself because she must have done something really bad; something that her parents or her teachers hadn't seen; but GOD had seen it, and was now punishing her for her misdeeds.
However I am a firm believer in the ethics of reciprocity. There are many spiritual beliefs pertaining to this philosophy. There is the concept of Karma in the Dharmic religions. Christianity teaches the Golden Rule of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." In Wicca and other Neo-Pagan traditions there is the Rule of Three, or the Law of Return, that states that there is an outcome tied directly to one's actions.
In any case, no matter whether you're Hindu or Buddhist or Catholic or Pagan...whatever you put out into the universe is going to come back your way.
It's ridiculous to think that anything less or anything more could ever be the case.
Sure...sometimes stuff just happens. That's just the way it is. Life teaches us some powerful lessons that are often brutal and heart wrenching. It hardly seems fair when an infant is born with a crippling disability or a disfiguring malformation. But doesn't it seem equally unfair to blame it on some angry deity? A parent's misdeeds? Unfavorable constellation patterns? Or any other petty and insidious reason?
Sometimes things do occur that are beyond my control. Why do some things happen? Because they just happen. Unfortunately there are still patches of Chaos that exist here and there. Although Einstein has been quoted as saying "God does not play dice with the universe.” I believe it was Niels Bohr that responded with "Albert, stop telling God what to do."
No one's luck is genuinely any better or any worse than anyone else's. It just feels that way sometimes. Those who think they are unlucky are often just lazy, ignorant, employ very little forethought, or are just plain foolish. All the powers of the universe are at their command if only they would stop blaming others or their own personal deficiencies. If people wish to change the way their lives are going, they have to ultimately realize that everything that happens almost always comes down to making good choices. When random events do occur, as they always do, they need to turn them to their advantage or learn from them, and not just whine and cry about them.
And isn't this ultimately what the Law of Return is really all about?
I don't have bad luck. I have effects that were caused by my own actions, and the sometimes crazy symphony of the Cosmos running its course. Period. End of story. Nothing left to say.
It's not because someone touched my specially blessed amber necklace, or because someone played with my ritual tools that wasn't supposed to, or because a statue broke, or because my horoscope was off on any given day. It's not because a black cat crossed my path, or because I broke a mirror, or because I walked under a ladder. It's not because of genetics. Everything that is happening in my life is due to something I either did or didn't do, and the roll of those unpredictable dice.
The end result with whatever the universe decides to do with me, however, whether random or Divinely deliberate is completely in my own hands. This is truly where free will comes into play. It is entirely up to me to learn my lessons, do the best that I can to fix my problems, to be the absolute best person that I am capable of being, to not perform any unkind acts upon my fellow human beings (or any other beings, for that matter), to seek Enlightenment, and to Love.
I am not entitled to anything more.
But who would want to be? Really and truly? To be able to see things this way is a blessed gift that I pray that everyone will eventually learn.
Lucille Ball, the infamous red headed actress, once said "Luck? I don't know anything about luck. I've never banked on it, and I'm afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: hard work -- and realizing what is opportunity and what isn't."
The American author of "Life's Little Instruction Book" series H. Jackson Brown Jr. has said "Luck marches with those who give their very best."
And Barbara Bush, former First Lady, said "You don't just luck into things as much as you would like to think you do. You build step by step, whether it is friendships or opportunities."
Good quotes, all.
I believe in the end, your luck is whatever you decide to make of it.
I praise the all-seeing, shine-faced Dike,
who sits beside the throne of Zeus,
and from heaven
she oversees the life and conduct of all mankind,
coming upon the unjust as just avenger,
and brings close the opposites
on the basis of truth and equality.
Because not all evil thoughts,
urging men towards acquisition of more in unjust ways,
are easily discernible.
But you, enemy of the wrong doers,
immediately come upon them and punish,
while being good with the righteous.
Come goddess! be fair with the fair minded, till the destined end of life comes.
- Orphic Hymn, In Praise of Justice
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