Luck is a funny thing. Some scholars would argue that luck is simply a self-fulfilling prophecy. That is to say that luck judgments are really a matter of perspective, and it is how we interpret the outcome that persuades our mind to view the event as lucky or not. Pragmatists would argue that we are only as lucky as we think we are and if that is true, it seems that optimists are then, the luckiest people of all. When an unforeseen and unlikely event (like winning the lottery) occurs, we rejoice, exclaiming how lucky we are. And when a potentially disastrous blizzard veers off course and misses our town, we breathe a sigh of relief, and again, revel in our luck. Are we lucky because a diagnosis of cancer is only a stage one? Is it luck that the horrific car accident which totaled our car lets us walk away unscathed? It seems as if there may be merit to the scholars’ and pragmatists’ beliefs that there is some type of relationship between the glass half full and the four-leaf clover.
While having a discussion with some of the residents at The Country House, an assisting living community in Yorktown Heights, I broached the topic of luck. Many of the residents believe they were extremely lucky to have married their spouse. Others felt lucky to have such wonderful children. One of the residents said she felt lucky to have been cured from her cancer diagnosis. Two of the residents, Margaret Cristello and Renata Karlin viewed living at The Country House as the luckiest thing to happen to them. Virginia Stuart, a self-proclaimed optimist, also considered having her children her luckiest moments. But she added that she considered herself happy and grateful for all things in her life and she believes that these positive feelings beget lucky outcomes. Perhaps the phrase, “one’s perception is one’s reality,” has some merit in this whole “leprechaun luck” phenomenon