So much more than ?lucky?

With St. Patrick?s Day looming on the horizon of our calendars, I thought it ironic the subject of ?luck? has been on my mind as of late.

Recently, an article was published that cited the circumstance of simple ?bad luck? as the cause for most cancers. And while genetics and heredity do play a role in some cancers, the number?when counted for all types of cancers?is quite small. For most people diagnosed with cancer, it can simply be chalked up to an unlucky twist of fate attributed to the fault in our stars.

This has caused me to ponder the subject over the past few months. The definition of luck, according to Merriam-Webster, is: ?a force that brings good fortune or adversity? or ?the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual.?

Reading these definitions has caused me to consider whether I believe in what is probably perceived as my own personal poor fortune. Being diagnosed with Stage IV cancer at the tender age of 47 should definitely qualify as very bad luck.

The fact that the definition itself acknowledges luck as ?a force,? feeds the notion that it is something within our control. I think on some level we all regard it to exist as a general rule. Many of us possess a lucky hat or other clothing, or objects such as a rabbit?s foot, that we consider to bring good fortune.

Many times I have heard people lamenting that their favorite sports team lost because they weren?t wearing their lucky jersey. I have even been known to dig out my lucky K-State flannel pants at halftime if the score doesn?t favor my Wildcats.

And then there are my lucky socks. Don?t even think about wresting my sacred stockings from me when it comes time for my scans, tests and doctors appointments.

All that being said, I must confess I really don?t believe in luck. People who have worked with me over the years know this to be absolutely true. I don?t think anything I say, do or wear can change the outcome of a sports contest, how a work day goes or the scans that seek out to expose any cancer cells I may have every 90 days or so.

So what about my lucky socks? I propose that rabbits feet, jerseys and socks (yes, socks) simply bring to us a wonderful comfort. They assure us that we have done all we can do to affect things that truly are out of our personal control.

Prayer is an acknowledgment that we have no control, and our worries demand release to the one with the power over the earth and the stars and the universe. So when four-leaf clovers are the headline, you will find me wearing green to avoid the customary ?pinch,? and thinking of St. Patrick himself. Socks and prayer. These things are so much more than lucky. They actually bring me peace.

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