Sunday, 30 May 2010

What’s luck got to do with it?

Yesterday, May 29, 2010 marked yet another Democracy Day celebration in Nigeria. My thoughts this year were far from the fear of the future or what the future holds for Nigerians. This year, I fell deeply in thoughts seeking answers to a long-standing question on my mind.

For a long time, I have struggled with the issue of luck and the role it plays in the lives of humans. The belief that some are born lucky and others unlucky and the mindset that life happens for some simply out of LUCK!

My friend fondly called Mr. EBENEBEN recently had a profile message on his BlackBerry messenger which read: ‘chance favours the prepared mind’. When I read it, I couldn’t but agree with him and so, I sent him a message saying “very profound” statement. This was of course before the events of May 5, 2010 and the consequent swearing-in of Goodluck Jonathan as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Prior to the swearing-in of President Obama on January 20, 2009 as the first black president of the United States of America, I had struggled with the issue of destiny but on that historic day, I conceded that Obama was born for such a time as this. Now with the coming of Goodluck Jonathan, I face a greater dilemma!

I am bedeviled by numerous questions like: “How far did luck take Jonathan before he was called upon to be Deputy Governor?”; “In the early years of Jonathan’s life especially before he decided to pursue his political ambition, did he consider himself lucky?”; “Did his values or temperament play a role in the manifestation of his goodluck? ”; “Can a man thwart his own luck or destiny?”; “Is Goodluck Jonathan a man of chance simply favoured by preparedness; as may also be the case with Obama?”

In my soul searching, I have drawn from the experiences of revered people in the Bible, Joseph and the Virgin Mary noted for their self preservation, King Solomon who chose wisdom amid all things as the one gift he wanted from God and his father David who so loved and honoured God such that he became acclaimed, the man after God's heart. In all of these cases, ‘chance and the prepared mind’ come to play. The Bible gives account of Joseph telling his brothers that he being sold into slavery was as God purposed it. I guess by inference we can say that Joseph was destined to be Governor of Egypt. My question then is: “If he had fallen for the temptation of Potiphar’s wife would that destiny have been fulfilled?”

There’s just something about success that gets people talking. I’ve heard that success has many friends. The scenario that usually plays-up is that, as soon as a man becomes successful, on-lookers latch onto his present successes and achievements and instantly tag him LUCKY. And the reason is not far-fetched because those friends-of-success fail to realise that the one they celebrate more often than not, had a humble beginning backed with many days of toiling and sacrificing.

My conclusion is that inherent in luck or destiny our individual values come to play.

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