Is there such a thing as luck?

Working for the Emergency Medical Services has opened my eyes and mind in so many ways over the years. You start to question everything and anything. Why is it some people will ring for a stubbed toe while others don’t dare ‘disturb’ you, or ‘waste your time’ when their relative is having a heart attack or a stroke? Why this and why that.

There are so many questions and never enough answers. I try to treat each job with empathy. I try to put my feet in the shoes of the person who has called me and think ‘why do they want me here? What is it they need?’.  The answer tI these questions are vastly different from patient to patient. The ten year old with a sprained wrist, the terrified first time Mum with a screaming unconsolable baby with a temperature, the eighty year old who’s wife has of 50 years has recently passed away and desperately needs some company. Then the extremes, the people who need rushing to the major trauma centres, the heart attack centres, the stroke centres.

You learn such a huge amount about society and about culture working in the ‘ambulance’ world and yet every answer only ever seems to open another set of questions.

Recently, I have questioned luck. There are some people in this world that seem to be unnaturally unlucky. The ones who have had cancer, heart problems, operations go wrong, lost half their family and all before they’re 30. Whilst others seem excessively lucky, skating through life with good health and wealth. There are people who believe they are unlucky and others who believe the opposite. There are people that have lost a lot but remain entirely optimistic and untainted whilst some rant and rave over their misfortunes at the slightest of events.

It seems to me like ‘luck’ is actually more a question of attitude and how you view things. The age old ‘glass half full half empty’ cliché. I’m not sure whether it acts as a sort of ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ where by you believe yourself unlucky and so somehow scarper your chances. Or whether it’s just a mindset where everything that goes wrong is added to the pile of proof you’re unlucky.

Id have thought it would be important to make sure we keep both piles in view, before writing off our fate. We can’t be unlucky in everything.

Bad things happen, yes. I will never deny that. If believing in luck is helpful to you, then great. But if it’s not, it might be worth thinking about.

Then again, I’ve always considered myself lucky, so what do I know about ‘bad luck’?


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