I wonder if there is such a thing as "luck". Do things just happen to us? Do things happen as a result of what we put out there in the world? Or do things happen according to arbitrary rules of what we have come to know as luck? Does the philosophical/religious idea of karma come into play with our ideas of luck? Do we get what we deserve, or do we get what we get according to chance?
I know two people, brother and sister. They are about as different as can be; the brother is moody, a bit dark, irresponsible, cynical, arrogant and immature. The sister is very even-keeled, bright and cheerful, very responsible, always gives the benefit of the doubt, modest, mature. The sister is the single most lucky person I know. She wins every contest she enters, finds money, and generally has an easy time of life. The brother has incredibly terrible luck – he has had more car accidents than anyone I know, most of which were not caused by him, and has a difficult time in most of his dealings. Although it is clear that the brother doesn't make good choices, and doesn't treat others as well as he could, which would lead to him having a more difficult time in life, I can't explain the sister's good luck as easily. She does make good choices, choices that allow her steadiness and constancy in her life. She usually thinks things through carefully before she does anything. But yet, it seems that even her mistakes turn out well, good things happen in her life that she did not plan, and people respond to her with good humour and warmth no matter what the circumstance. How is it that this is the case?
I do lean towards an idea of karma, that one good turn deserves another, and that the energy one puts out in the world comes back eventually. I have no proof of this, but my moral system is one of merit, and I like to think that we are responsible for what we do in life, good or bad. In this system, good deeds are rewarded in some way, and bad deeds punished. (That said, I also believe in second chances and redemption.) If I do something bad to someone else, I deserve to have something bad happen to me in return. Likewise, if I am a good person, I do not deserve to have bad things happen in my life. However, this is not always the case. I like to think I am a good person, kind and generous, helpful to others, conscientious and caring. But I've had a whole lot of bad things happen over the past three years or so that have made life more difficult and unpleasant. Have I done anything to deserve these things that have taken place? No. But yet, they have happened. Do I have bad luck? Or another possibility: are these things lessons that must be learned?
I'd like to open this up for comment. What do you guys think? Is there such a thing as luck? Or do we merely earn our desserts?