Friday, March 15, 2013

Do you feel lucky... punk? Well...Do ya?

Lucky Charms Story #4: Author Adam N. Leonard
Well, you've gotta be lucky to some degree because you are presently breathing and your heart is beating. You are able to smell gooey chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven... you are able to feel the sun warm your skin in the summer, and smell the hot black top  mixed with the scent of freshly cut grass. These rather insignificant, cliché examples are experiences we all share and can relate to, and those are a few of the thousands of things we take for granted each day.

As a high school teacher, I see a lot of kids who feel bad about themselves. It can be easy sometimes to be overwhelmed by superficial issues and forget about all the wonderful things that we take for granted everyday. I had a couple of friends who committed suicide long ago over things that seemed cataclismic at that point in their lives- but were really insignificant in the grand scheme of things...

So sad that they will never feel the sunshine on their skin again... even sadder that they have missed out on what it feels like to get married,  to have your own child call you "mommy" or "daddy" for the first time; they missed so many things. Had they lived, they probably wouldn't even recall the situation that had caused them so much angst in those hormone filled years.

So my point is that you are lucky- lucky to be alive and healthy and here, now, able to experience all the wonderful little things that occur everyday. And no matter how bad things seem occassionally when your boyfriend dumps you, or you make fool of yourself somewhere- somehow... all will be forgotten soon enough and replaced by so many new and wonderful experiences yet to come!

Now, what about FATE? Are you a slave to a pre-determined fate of some higher being's creation? Or is it all you and the choices that you make that determine your future?

I think it's a little bit of both... I believe in fate as far as karma is concerned anyway. I have lived long enough to see that the good that you do DOES come back to you in some way. And conversely, the bad you do will come back to bite you

What about God and the whole "it's all part of God's plan" philosophy? What do you think about that?  As for me- hey, I have no idea, but there are definitely many times in life when it seems that something is guiding me, pushing me, creating freaky coincidences that seem too perfect to just happen...

But, I also believe that you have to make your own luck. I think fate opens doors, creates coincidences and opportunities for great things to happen- but it is ultimately up to YOU to do the work that will make it happen. If you do poorly in high school or college, for example, you will limit your options for the future. That is something that is hard to see sometimes when you are young, especially because often those who get good grades are labeled nerds or brown nosers, but those are the people who will become successful later in life.

So, let me conclude by saying: Enjoy and appreciate what you have, don't take those small pleasures for granted. Make your own luck, work hard now and you will be glad you did down the road. And remember  these words of singer - song writer James Taylor:

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it
There ain't nothing to it
Nobody knows how we got to
The top of the hill
But since we're on our way down
We might as well enjoy the ride

Adam N. Leonard

Author and Teacher

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