Every new year for the last two years, I think back to the days I was making applications to universities abroad. Application deadlines are usually around the 1st and 15th of January. Typically, around this time, I would be fine-tuning my common application, panicking that my friends hadn’t given me feedback on my essays, and begging schools to waive my CSS fees so that I could apply for financial aid. Every time I think back to these moments, I wonder whether taking time to apply to about 20 or more schools was worth it or just a waste of time. On these days where I also take an audit on my life, I think about the tragedy of good luck.
There is a famous story given about a man called Eric who had a dog called Nova. Eric had just been walking around the park when he found this dog that had been abandoned and he decided to take it in. He thought to himself how sad it was that this dog had been left alone but how lucky he was was to have found him. Sometime later he lost Nova and put out posters along the streets in search of his dog. A few days later a beautiful lady called Vanessa knocked at his door with Nova. Eric and Vanessa became friends and later fell in love. Eric thought to himself how sad it was for Nova to get lost but how lucky he was to have met Vanessa.
Time passed and one time, when Eric was going to pick up Vanessa, he got into a fatal car accident and was rushed to the hospital. He was in a coma for a couple of days and when he came to the doctor told him he had both and good news. The bad news he said was that Eric had a tumor and the good news was Eric had a tumor. Eric was confused. How could having a tumor be good news? The doctor explained that during the accident, Eric had suffered a concussion that would have killed him but the tumor had saved him. Additionally, because of the accident, the tumor had been discovered early enough and it could be treated. Again Eric thought to himself as to how sad it was that he had been involved in an accident but how lucky he was that the accident and a tumor had saved his life.
There are many times I think to this. I wonder how often situations in my life could be interconnected and how they would presumably lead to luck. It evokes emotions espoused by Alan Watts that maybe the whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity and it is really impossible to tell whether anything happens in it is good or bad because you never know what will be the consequence of misfortune or you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.
Have a great week ahead!