What is the fascination surrounding luck, anyhow? Why must we care so much about such a trivial thing, associating the concept with some grand power that rules over our lives? Why must we constantly concern ourselves with the mortal issue of worrying about what luck  fortune will bring us next?


Human migratory patterns over our existence. Photo courtesy of Nature.com

Looking back in time holds the answer to these questions. Before the very beginnings of civilization were taking hold upon the land, where people were organizing into large groups, migrating across continents in search of food or better living conditions, we saw luck as the governing force. We did what we could to promote good fortune, but ultimately the laws of nature were out of our control. We could find a cave to hide in, but that wouldn’t change the fact that it was still going to rain. We could travel to a new, green grove of the forest in search of food, but there was no guarantee of finding food. This luck, this randomness, this chance people would take began to be known as a higher power. In some faiths, worship of a god is a worship of luck. As civilization grew, we became increasingly dependent on good harvests and protection from those who wished to do us harm, which meant further prayer to an entity determining our luck. Throughout history, people sing out for good fortune, wishing for nothing more than this ever so powerful ambiguity be on their side.

Perhaps that is why today we hold luck in such high regard, because our species evolved with it.

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1 Comment

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