Fortune

I have spent many nights lying in my bed pondering why some men have good luck and others have luck of the worst kind. Why some people can’t catch a break while others manage to get away with well, just about everything. Why some people have better family lives, better relationships, better genes. There are a million and one questions I can ask about the seemingly disproportionate nature of fortune.

Why do some people manage to go their entire lives without seeing a shred of tragedy except from a distance in the news and on television? Why must some people endure the trauma of divorce of their parents and then told to “get over it” as soon as possible? Why are some people born to parents that give them up for adoption? Why do some people have extraordinary talents and others have none to speak of? Why some people born literally mentally retarded? Why do some people find themselves surrounded by a huge network of support when things go south and others discarded to the side no better than the crumpled potato chip bag in the parking lot? Why are some people born in god forsaken locales on Earth, dying before they ever get a chance to live? Why do the grandparents of some people die before they ever get to know their names? Why will some people eventually develop something such as Multiple Sclerosis or Alzheimer’s? Why are some people able to crash two Corvettes in a year and have money to spare to buy a third one and pay for the sky high insurance? Why must some people work three jobs just to exist? Why are some people able to just burn and incinerate money like firewood and have more money to to burn up? Why do some people lose it all? Why do people have nothing to lose? See, I could continue on for eternity this way.

People say overcoming adversity brings new life. That may be true. However, for every one story of someone overcoming adversity, there’s 1000 others who just didn’t make it. Don’t believe me? Go take a drive through the impoverished areas of your local city and look around. Dilapidated housing projects. People standing on the corner with no direction. A boy with drugs in his pocket running across the street to make his next sale. Lost. Hopeless. You can feel the desperation creeping through your tightly rolled up windows. From birth, they didn’t stand a chance. Wrong place at the wrong time. Lack of ambition? Maybe. Lack of hope, a thing they don’t even know exists? Sure.

Yet, the real issue at hand isn’t the questions after the interrogative. It is rather interrogative itself.

The “why” of these things happen is a loaded question. It all depends on what you believe in.

If you subscribe to the Buddhist worldview, fortune is attained by good karma from your last reincarnation. If you were a good person in the grand scheme of the universe in your last life, you are now dealt a favorable hand from birth in this life. If you have a terrible hand in this life, then you were undoubtedly an evil son-of-a-bitch in your last life and you are now paying dearly for it.

If you subscribe to the Hindu worldview (depending on which sect), then Brahman (or his many variations) created you and you are tempted by good and evil, bad luck and good luck constantly to determine your karma in this life (dependent on sect, but this is the mainstream polytheistic version).

If you subscribe to the Christian and Muslim worldviews, then God/Allah is responsible for your fortune. God/Allah gave you these things in life because he knew that you were strong enough to deal with it and it will make you a better person. Additionally, your troubles in life can be lessened if you pray to God/Allah and praise him for all your days. Pray to the man in the sky and it will be alright.

If you are a nihilist, then nothing matters because we all die anyway so we can cry and sob all we want but it does not change the finality of death.

If you are a deist, then a higher power made the world sent it spinning and did not touch it at all and fortune is just chance.

I have a problem with pretty much all of these worldviews, especially those that are dependent on deities. I just feel like it seems like all the people who have all the fortune in the world don’t know what to do with it. However, there is a chance that if you are sitting here reading this, you have much better fortune than someone else. But why must this disproportion even exist? Why can’t we all be sitting here on our computers reading blogs? Is there actually a proportion to the amount of good luck and bad luck in the universe? Is the total sum of good luck and bad luck equal, just like the law of the conservation of energy? Perhaps. I don’t know. Until the underlying forces of the universe reveal themselves to me, I will never know why. I will most likely die before I reach a conclusion.

I guess we’ll all have to do the best with what we have, even if it is more or less than others.

Sometimes though, our best just simply isn’t good enough. For anyone.

– Scotia

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2 comments on “Fortune

  1. Kate says:

    There’s a monthly discussion group in which I participate and I really wish you could have been sitting in on our last one. These are the kinds of questions we brought up and I’ll fully admit I got a bit overwhelmed. I know we’ll never have the answer but the idea that we won’t just sort of upset me. Sometimes I just want to know.

    • iamscotia says:

      Thanks for your comment Kate. These are ideas that we must become comfortable thinking about for they comprise the very fabric of our universe. However, one must not always think about these things because they tend to drive a person insane. Many men have met their ends at the cliffs of madness for thinking about these very same ideas.

      Cheers,

      Scotia

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