Wisdom and Luck

In Cee’s Share Your World task, four questions are presented every Sunday which participants answer, and then share.  The task is offered as a method for bloggers to learn more about each other, and for readers to know bloggers, too.  I look forward to Share Your World every Sunday — the questions raise ideas in my brain that I might not have otherwise considered.

This week, one of those questions was:

The Hindu God of Wisdom

If you could choose between Wisdom and Luck, which one would you pick?

Luck can be good, or it can be bad

My answer was Wisdom.  At the time it seemed to me like an exceedingly easy question — of course, the answer was Wisdom.  Who would choose Luck

Luck can be good, or it can be bad

over Wisdom?  The results  of these two attributes are vitally important; easy to say about Wisdom, but not so easy about Luck.

For someone who chooses and then possesses Wisdom, any other choice may be expected to be easy.  Those who are wise would always have less  doubt, wouldn’t they?  I would guess that almost any question can be answered by a wise person.  But what about Luck?

I have a little bit of experience with this — some of you have read it before, but please bear with me.  For decades, I experienced luck, especially in the area of working with doctors.  Two examples:

  1. I was diagnosed with Diabetes in 1974, when my father was recently retired from the Air Force.  Naturally, I thought then, (and still think now,) my parents would bring me to the base clinic for testing.  Of course.  I had no choice of doctor, and neither did they — when you are waiting in a military clinic, you go with the first available doctor.  In a very obvious episode of bad luck, we got a doctor who didn’t take long to offer me a dire prediction of when I would die — very young.  If good luck had prevailed, I would have seen a gentle, kind doctor, who would understand the fragility of a 14-year-old.  I might have been less afraid, and more willing to pursue a life full of success, rather than following that shock down into decades of unfortunate and downright bad choices.
  2. 1998 – I required an emergency quadruple bypass, which went without a hitch.  But I was back in the hospital three days later with a staph infection in my sternum.  I was very sick for a couple of months, and my family came to say goodbye a couple of times, from the corners of the country.  I had five thoracic surgeries, with the last being a full sternectomy and a muscle flap replacement.          I bet you’re thinking, “what horrible bad luck.”  Yes it was.  But this example is about good luck. A heart-transplant surgeon had just transferred in, and was doing bypasses.  His name was Dr. Dmitri Mavroidis, and he was from Philadelphia.  He ended up right at my side for those two months, and he was supportive and helpful with my family.  The day I got off tube feeding, he asked me my favorite food.  I said, “Fig Newtons,” and that evening he brought a package in, and we celebrated together with milk and Fig Newtons.  That is the kind of doctor he was.  And when he was through with me, he moved back to Philadelphia.  What are the chances that I would have such a good surgeon, this time?

Those are very involved examples, and I thank you who are still reading!

Luck influences a person’s mood, as well.  As a recipient of good luck, I feel better and stronger.  When it’s bad luck, I feel defeated.  And those feelings influence my life, in every possible area.  Good luck=happiness=more good luck.  Bad luck=misery=more bad luck.

No, I don’t believe that everything that happens is due to luck; nevertheless, in those two examples, and others I could and will someday write about, no influence came from me or anyone known to us to determine which doctors I’d see.  It was luck.  Wisdom and luck are two sides of one coin — I can’t have wisdom without a little luck; I can’t benefit from luck unless I have wisdom.  And this is my final answer, (for now.)


5 responses to “Wisdom and Luck

  1. Pingback: A Comment from a dear friend | Diabetic Redemption

  2. Great post, Judith! I can’t imagine what it was like to go through a quadruple bypass as such a young age. I’m glad you made it—and I’m glad you got those Fig Newtons! (I had to smile & laugh at that!)

  3. An old Zen story goes like this: An old Chinese farmer had a mare that broke through the fence and ran away. When his neighbors learned of it, they came to the farmer and said, “What bad luck this is. You don’t have a horse during planting season.” The farmer listened and then replied, “Bad luck, good luck. Who knows?”
    A few days later, the mare returned with two stallions. When the neighbors learned of it, they visited the farmer. “You are now a rich man. What good fortune this is,” they said. The farmer listened and again replied, “Good fortune, bad fortune. Who knows?”
    Later that day, the farmer’s only son was thrown from one of the stallions and broke his leg. When the neighbors heard about it, they came to the farmer. “It is planting season and now there is no one to help you,” they said. “This is truly bad luck.” The farmer listened, and once more he said, “Bad luck, good luck. Who knows?”
    The very next day, the emperor’s army rode into the town and conscripted the eldest son in every family. Only the farmer’s son with his broken leg remained behind. Soon the neighbors arrived. Tearfully, they said, “Yours is the only son who was not taken from his family and sent to war. What good fortune this is…”

    I interpret this story as “It’s All Good.” Even if it isn’t a “good time”, it will most often turn out to be a “good experience’.


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