Are You Lucky? By Brian Hale
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Available now in bookstores and online

Our Attempts to Influence Fate -
and Dealing with what We Get

What this book aims to accomplish...

This is the first time I’ve written an entire book. I have learned a lot in my life, and a lot of it is worth sharing. I am lucky that I was able to fulfill this life’s dream of writing a book. In each of our lives, we have all experienced occasions of good and bad luck. Sometimes within an instant of each other. Each of us is allowed to choose which outcomes we focus on, in order to support the attitude we want to have about life.

So much of our life surrounds luck that I wanted to explore its origins, its incarnations in society, and share ways I have seen people respond to its results. Some of my close brushes with luck are enclosed, but I have also added the stories of many people with whom I have had an association. There are also stories of public figures who have demonstrated the power of luck in their lives. Whether we be lucky in love, sports, or war, there are many stories to share. Enclosed are just a few to get you started thinking about whether or not you are lucky.

Luck in our culture...

Our culture is comprised of people who believe God has preordained everything in our world, and other people who believe that all luck is human-generated. Perhaps palm readers, crystal ball gazers and astrologists ARE tuned into the vibrations of fate. Many of us knock on wood, or cross our fingers, carry a lucky charm, or many other things to help bring good luck to bear.

Humans have proven that they will do anything to get a leg up on this dangerous affair we call our lives. But when misfortune finally catches up to us (and for some of us, that comes sooner rather than later), what role might our response to the challenges before us set a course for our future fates?

There is room for the religious here. If you believe in the wonders of a Supreme Being, you are very forunate to have been treated so well. Not every life form has such a blessed existence. Many religions are built around rituals that some have suggested borders on superstition. Even if you believe in God, and the Big Bang Theory of our origins, how much does God intervene in the daily routines of our lives? At what point does God lead you hither and yon? Is he also guiding you when you choose to do something regrettable?

Luck is everywhere. Or is it?

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About Brian Hale

Brian Hale has been a writer all of his life. His early published works included news articles and opinion columns for the Bear Facts student newspaper at Bear Creek High School, outside of Denver. This spark ignited a career in writing that has included Managing Editor of the University of Northern Colorado Mirror, a series of professional newspaper reporter jobs with the Vallejo (CA) Times Herald, the Aspen (CO) Daily News, the Sixteenth Street Shuttle in Downtown Denver, and the Westminster (CO) Window Newspapers. Ultimately that road turned off into school public relations work, where he has used his writing skills to positive effect for more than 25 years. He has the best wife in the world, five young adults who call him Dad, and six grandchildren. And after waffling a little early on, he would have to admit, he does feel very lucky!

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Take a Peek Into the Book

Are You Lucky

OUR ATTEMPTS TO INFLUENCE FATE -
AND DEALING WITH WHAT WE GET

  • What Is Luck?

    (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luck or 
    www.Merriam-Webster.com)

    Luck’s definitions leave us with a wide array of examples, and circumstances by which it came to be defined, but it rarely addresses the source(s).  Remember, we are trying to describe an element that works behind the scenes.  We mostly do not know when luck is present, and we certainly cannot ascertain its motives, until after it has left its mark.  Luck appears to be more of a force than it is matter.  Is there any way to harness this force?  As mankind has studied the properties of gravity and centrifuge, and we have learned to use those forces to manage our world.  Perhaps the same can become true with the fates.  At least, we are eternally hoping so.

    Essentially the phenomenon of luck is broken into two primary categories.  Things that happen completely by chance, and

  • things that happen due to forces in the universe (whether that be from a God force, witchcraft, the pull of the planets, or ourselves). Whichever side of this debate you come down on, it is clear we often have very little say in which way our luck will fall. Because the human species is endlessly curious, there have been efforts to understand these forces, with the goal of being able to anticipate our fates a little better.  But anyone who tells you they have the formula for how fate works is probably looking to sell it to you in a snake oil bottle at the county fair.

    Humans are unique and often unpredictable animals.  Your journey through this life is uniquely your own.  There are currently more than six billion unique journeys going on around you on this Earth, each with a unique and unpredictable human at the controls.  Some of those people are completely despicable.  Others can warm your heart on a cold winter’s day.  All of this makes prognostication very complicated.

    God has always been a convenient way to explain things that are relatively unexplainable. Because we can’t explain it, we can’t disprove that God IS at the source of all twists of fate. Where lies the burden of proof in this case?

  • That’s Why They Call It Faith

    Of course, the Holy interference in human affairs also tends to minimize the chance and randomness of luck. There are still religious sorts in our population who believe nothing happens without the influence of a higher power. The Puritans came to America in the 16th and 17th centuries with a strong sense of predestination. While this gives us some comfort in the larger world, it is a stretch to imagine that God has a hand in all of our chance encounters in life.

    Flip a coin ten times. Some of you will turn seven or eight “heads,” while others may get that many “tails.” But those extreme cases will balance each other out, and most of us will get 4, 5, or 6 “heads” or “tails.” Adhering to the system of divine intervention, only God knows which one of you will turn up seven “heads” before you start flipping. How much minutia can one Divine power handle? Does God really care about the outcome of your coin-flipping exercise?

  • Yet, when we are in desperate need of a positive turn in our lives, so many of us still turn to the Lord above in the form of prayer. We pray for good health. We pray for answers to the questions in our lives for which we can find no easy solution. Many of us even pray for others, and their life challenges. Sometimes those prayers appear to be answered. Sometimes, they are not – at least as far as we can tell.

    “God has a bigger plan,” is the conciliatory plea we all turn to when our prayers are not answered satisfactorily. When someone close to us passes away, we shift gears and pray for a happy resolution in the after-life.

    I very much appreciate that the universe is infinitely more complicated than any one of us could fully understand. Every religion has its “after-life” story, and if my particular version of Heaven – and how you gain admission – is correct, I am comforted by what awaits us in the hereafter. But none of us knows. Perhaps God will exclude the infidels among us, and only be welcoming Jews, or Catholics, or Muslims, or Missouri Synod Lutherans.

  • I personally believe God does not care through which human prophet you are delivered to Him/Her. But many people here on Earth will tell you differently. That’s why they call it faith.

  • Father, can you hear me?

    Praying about our fate

    It is the ultimate moment of faith when, after the fates have been decided, we reflect on what happened and determine whether God answered our prayer. Sometimes it takes a little reconstruction of history to complete the circuit. Or, other times, we merely resign ourselves to the fact that God may well have responded to the situation we brought to His attention, but it may have happened in a way that we do not understand. Be careful what you ask for, and how you ask for it.

    Maybe God is working on a bigger plan that trumps our trivial pleas for help. Because most of us do not have a direct line to the Big Guy, we cannot know with certainty. We simply have to believe. This blind belief has proven dangerous over the course of human existence. Various civilizations have felt compelled to offer sacrifices to the Gods in exchange for the future success of the whole.

  • For some people, it has been limited to sacrificing farm animals. For others, sacrificing human virgins was the standard. Most of us in the 21st century would concur that human (and probably even animal) sacrifice is a misguided, masochistic approach. But there are still religions that promote the killing of other humans as a practical necessity to give glory to their Gods. The relationship between humans and their Gods invites such atrocities as flying planes into the World Trade Center and driving bomb-laden vehicles into a crowd of people in search of God’s glory.