You're Stuck in Class 8 Rapids

Eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of fresh air. All that’s left is to think young and maybe you’ll get lucky.

Not that kind of lucky, you carnal deviant. Don’t feel bad, though. You’re thinking in the majority.

The river of life and free will. One minute you’re fat, dumb, and happy in your own little existence and WHAM! Dumped, unceremoniously, in cold and unfriendly water with no explanation and no choice. Welcome to Earth! (This version of being born begs the question - what if we had had a choice? Don’t think too hard about it. Just means that we all agreed to it and that the whole of the human race including you and me are a bunch of masochists. And of course I’m assuming our existence before and after this one is, was, or will be, better. We hope.) Life here is a pretty rough swimming teacher; thrown in with a shout of ‘sink or swim’ echoing in your head as your ears fill with water.

In fact, most of us do pretty well treading that water. Your head pops up and you’re given a good view of the shoreline on both sides. Looks promising at first, that nice dry land full of the fruits of knowledge and knowing whatever truths there are to know.  At least, that appears to be the promise. Unfortunately, it races along so fast that to focus on any one point means you miss the whole scene. So your head whips back and forth, trying to make sense of it all while you barely keep your head above water. And the shore?  Fuhgeddaboudit.  No can do. You’re on a short leash sweet pea. Crowded all together and bobbing along with all these other folks, you aren’t going far enough to constitute going anywhere. So, you give each other funny looks and wonder who is to blame without the slightest clue as to the five Ws and a H you are here.

No wonder we’re so irritable.

Kinda funny the idea of choice. While it certainly can be zero (you have none) it definitely is not infinite (you can do whatever you want). Unless you get lucky.

So how much of life is luck, I wonder? And just what is luck?

A miraculous happening of events, no rhyme nor reason, that lead to something desirable?

This is simple cause and effect. Every effect has a root cause. But is it that simple? Philosophy as far back as Aristotle divided causes into four types; efficient, final, material, and formal. *Blplpllplp! Cartoon face rapidly shakes left & right and says ‘whazzat?’* Modern philosophy, to help out matters, added duplicity even as others on the upper end of the philosophy chain argued that our ability to know a root cause is impossible. And I thought only politicians were professional water muddlers.

It’s the same old thing. No one knows, really. The uncertainty principle never sleeps. Mr. Heisenberg evidently didn't either.

I think luck is a simple state of mind, like happiness or sadness. Barring any physical problems that bring about changes in your body beyond your control (I believe many of our actions under the duress of mental diseases are no different than the action of running a fever when sick; i.e. you can’t control either without help) luck is a state of mind, no different than the concepts of good or bad. Both are relative and neither has the specific quality of good or bad. It is what it is. Your application of good or bad to it depends upon the point from which you view it.

Of course, this doesn’t make a bankruptcy or your house burning down or a meteor strike to the head any easier to accept. But these things have happened. They still will. The only true choice we have is how we deal with them. Mad, glad, or even sad, this is about as much control as we’re going to find in this existence. Maybe next time life, or whatever form it takes, will come with a handy-dandy instruction book. I wouldn’t hold my breath though. Then again, that might get you there sooner.

So if you want to eat healthy, exercise, get fresh air, think young and get lucky in the hopes of living longer, well, the actual physical difference you’ll probably make to the quantity or quality of your life is much less than you’d like. You aren’t equipped with a mask, snorkels, and flippers.

But, if you want to eat healthy, exercise, get fresh air, and think young because it makes you feel better about yourself, and helps you treat others close to you in a like manner, by all means do so. Make your life worthwhile and think positive.  As a side effect you may live longer. Just maybe.

If you don’t? That’s okay too. A short life, lived well, is worth a hundred lives spent otherwise. The fortunate realize it sooner rather than later. You have that choice.

Oh!  And I hope you get lucky along the way.