Friday, February 22, 2013
Not Blessed, Lucky
It’s not all simply a numbers game of financial gain either. Say, you meet the right person and fall in love. It can feel like a supernatural force brought you two together to fulfill an ultimate destiny. Humans are romantic like that. In reality it means that you were open to sharing your life, found someone compatible of the pool of hundreds of people you come across weekly, and had your feelings reciprocated. There are many such seemingly serendipitous events in our everyday life.
My favorite microcosm of luck confirmation bias is finding the bright side of a calamity. Consider that you are spared the full consequence of some misstep of tragedy. We’ve all heard someone say how blessed someone was for surviving a car accident. “You must have a guardian angel,” they say, “God was watching out for you.”
This combination of optimism and superstition is at the heart of faith. We can see the silver linings of such dark clouds and dress them as a deity who didn’t cause the accident, but rather rescued someone from the jaws of death. It's not only mistaking angelic intervention for human ingenuity in the form of seat belts, airbags and crumple zones; it's not acknowledging that shit happens, both good and bad. Belief in magic informed our past, but moving into the future we should all keep in mind...we’re never blessed or cursed, just lucky or not.