Saturday, May 7, 2011


Is Luck a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy ?

People keep talking about good luck and bad luck. Particularly when something goes wrong, they are quick to blame it on bad luck.

What is the meaning of the word LUCK?

Whenever someone talks of luck, I remember Liehtse’s famous parable of The Old Man at the Fort 

An Old Man was living with his Son at an abandoned fort on the top of a hill.

For his livelihood he bred horses.

One one day he lost a horse. One of his horses, his prize stud, bolted from the stables and ran away into the neighboring jungles.

The neighbours came to express their sympathy for this misfortune and expressed their condolences and all of them commiserated morosely, "What bad luck...!"

To their surprise, the Old Man said, “How do you know this bad luck? The fact is that one horse is missing and there is one horse less in the stables. That is the fact. Whether it is good luck or bad luck – well that is a matter of judgment.” 

A few days afterwards, his horse returned with twenty more wild horses, and his neighbours came again to congratulate him on this stroke of fortune, and the Old Man replied, “How do you know this is good luck? The fact is that there are twenty more horses in my stable than before. Whether it is good luck or bad luck – well that is a matter of opinion.” 

With so many wild horses around, his son began the process of taming of these wild horses, and one day while riding a wild horse he was thrown off and broke his leg. 

Again the neighbours came around to express their sympathy, and the Old Man replied, “How do you know this is bad luck?” 

A few days later a terrible war broke out and all the able-bodied men were forcibly conscripted into the army, sent to the warfront to fight and all of them were killed fighting the enemy.

Because the Old Man’s son had a broken leg he did not have to go to the war front and his life was saved and everyone in the village who had lost their sons in the war were envious at the Old Man’s good fortune, but this time they did not say anything to the Old Man as they knew what his response would be. 

This parable drives home the lesson that there are no such things like good luck and bad luck.

What disturbs you are not events but your attitude towards them.

But suppose you do believe in the concept of luck, let me tell you that I feel that luck is very often a self-fulfilling prophecy and your thoughts and behavior are responsible for much of your good fortune or bad fortune. People who believe in good luck are more optimistic, more satisfied with their lives, have better moods, and are more lucky. If you visualize yourself as being lucky, if you think and behave like a lucky person, you will actually start feeling that you are indeed lucky. And if ever you get a feeling of bad luck, remember the story of THE OLD MAN AT THE FORT.

Wishing you all the LUCK.


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this article? I am eager to know your views, especially if you believe in luck.
By the way, I write fiction too and have recently published a book of short stories called COCKTAIL. 
Do have a look – please click any of the links below to know more.
About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures(2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. 

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