Monday, April 16, 2012

Good "luck"?


1: the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person's life, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunities
2: a combination of circumstances, events, etc., operating by chance to bring good or ill to a person

Maybe it's that I didn't grow up in this country, maybe i'm taking the word "luck" too literally, but this has me really confused every time i see it. 

Why do people say "Good Luck" so much.... especially to athletes about to race. 

Typically someone embarking on a race, for example today's Boston Marathon, has done hundreds of hours of training, months and months of preparation for that one day.  So all in all, the last thing this person is looking for, is "luck".  If they're relying on "luck" to get them to the finish line in the time (or place) they're hoping, then they have no business being on that starting line. So why do we wish them "good luck?

"Good luck!" to me, sounds like: 
"Good luck, for the crazy goal you've set for yourself and that minimal preparation you've done, luck is all that you can hope for."  Just sounds like there's no faith in that person's ability to accomplish their goal.

If someone's going to play the lottery, play some game at the carnival where chance is involved, then by all means, wish them all the luck in the world, because they're going to need it. 

But to wish "luck" upon someone that's ready to undertake a personal sporting challenge, that I don't understand.



GZ said...

my friend Marty K (2:20 marathoner as a pup) sez ... "luck is where preparation meets opportunity."

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are taking the word luck too literally.
Good luck is just short for, I wish you good luck. (maybe you like "I wish you well" better?)
What does that really mean? It has nothing to do with distracting from the preparation you've done for an event.
All it really means is that I hope all the things you have done to prepare for the race come together as you expect.
Have you ever had a race where you did EVERYTHING right leading up to it but didn't have the outcome you expected - maybe due to upset stomach, some new ache, or whatever? (If you haven't, you're the first person who hasn't)
By wishing you good luck, that person is just hoping that everything you trained for works out and you DON'T experience one of those issues.

So, chill out a little and quit being snobbish about some one wishing you well.

Sadie J said...

Well, if I ever say good luck to you, I want to clarify that I'm wishing you the opposite of the force that brings ill to your life…may you not have any of those negative shaping circumstances or opportunities.

I only wish the best for you…that is what it means to me.