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Luck Be a Lady: Lucky Charms from Around the World

Updated on January 7, 2013

Do you feel lucky?

Okay so Dirty Harry isn't the only one to ask this question. Whether you believe in luck or not, the world is fascinated with the concept from just daily life to religion to business it is everywhere. Some cultures highly value the idea of luck and allow it to permeate religion and daily life. Others just believe it's part of superstitions in our society and luck does not exist. Which ever you believe let this article highlight the many different ways we have incorporated luck into our world.

Do you believe in Lucky Charms?

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The Essential Definition of Luck

So everyone has there own definition of lucky but here is the definition as defined by the dictionary. As define, luck is success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions. Synonyms include fortune, chance, happiness, hap, fate and felicity. Fate is also sometimes interchangeable with luck. The thing to keep in mind is some people do not use it in the traditional sense and everyone will define it according to their own experiences and circumstances. The thing to keep in mind is that even if you don't believe in luck not all situation can be explained through your own actions, so think about this while you read on. Serendipity to me is how I usually think about luck because for me luck is usually a happy accident that I wasn't planning on.

The Influence of Luck on Film and other Media

There are countless movies that include the word lucky such as Dirty Harry, Singin' In the Rain, You Are My Lucky Star, The Lord of the Rings, Pretty Woman, Some like it Hot, Steel Magnolias, and so many others. In music, we have albums, songs or single lines of lyrics dedicated to luck. Some music includes Lucky Star, Luck Be a Lady, Good Luck Charm and about 50 other songs I can think of. We even commercialize luck through lucky charms sold in mass and a memorable leprechaun you know who I am talking about.

Well then why don't people believe in luck then? Because I think the word luck has lost its own meaning. We have commercialized the word luck especially in the US that it's considered an everyday occurrence part of our life. Even pop culture has made money like above on our fascination with luck.

Societal Stigmas Surround Luck Rituals

Whether you are OCD or not, we all have daily rituals we perform. We all go to work, come home, sleep and eat mostly at the same time everyday. There commonly accepted luck rituals like four leaf clovers and the ones we laugh about such as throwing salt over the shoulder or blowing on dice for good luck. However there are rituals that are unique to cultures or are not widely practice that make people turn up their noses at it. Superstitions and taboos around luck also make people look at you a little funny.

I guess it is human nature to judge each other on our beliefs especially if they are not a common practice. What we may see as the norm in the US may not be the norm in other cultures such as in Asian cultures red roses are a sign of blood or death so they do not give someone sick this color rose because it is bad luck whereas in the US I see red roses all the time in hospitals.The Chinese have a great aversion to covering the forehead with hair as this creates a serious block on your wealth luck. Some people might find this strange because we do not follow these old traditions or notions of luck. Some rituals for money luck is not stepping on a threshold, sitting on the counter where your cash register is and not sitting on a table where your money documents are. This may seem strange to most but is closely followed in certain cultures.

Signs of bad luck or rituals to practice can be found in all societies. Not walking under a ladder, avoiding a black cat crossing your path, and throwing salt over your shoulder are all supposedly good luck tips but may mean different things to different people. There are so many good luck saying like break a leg, it's better to be born lucky than rich and many more may make someone you tell cringe or look at you weird since some people either don't understand or don't believe in it.

Luck and Religious Symbolism

In many cultures, religion plays a big part in daily life, but luck also plays a big part too. The swastika in Hinduism and Buddhism is a symbol of good luck even though most people think of it as a Nazi Symbol. Luck in and of itself can be its own belief system even though it's not traditionally thought of in this way. Even in prayer, people will pray in such a way to ask for luck in a particular situation rather than letting their actions influence the outcome. Some religions pray to gods that represent luck who may help them to make what they want happen. Think of the idea of a miracle where it's not because of anyone's action but because of the occurrence of events which they find to be fortuitous or unfortuitous, and maybe improbable.

Bad Luck or Good Luck? Does it Exist.

The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck. -Tony Robbins

Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect. -Ralph Waldo Emerson


People often remark that I'm pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you've got to have talent and know how to use it. -Frank Sinatra

Luck has influenced every aspect of our day to day life. Whether you believe in good luck or bad luck or no luck, it is constantly at the back of your mind. We all at one point contemplate where luck or good fortune exist or it is our actions that do it all for us. I think that luck means different things to different people and that life is a combination of both. The entertainment and private industry have capitalized on our fascination with the concept of luck as I have shown you above. For me, I think luck does exist maybe because I have been lucky enough to experience what I have in my lifetime. I think luck presents the right moment to us whether we accept or not is up to us. Luck can help but not do everything for us. When we are presented with an opportunity, we have to smart enough to recognize the benefits or the drawbacks. Some people feel carrying a good luck charm or amulet will help to increase your luck and some don't. I think in every situation whether looked at as acceptable or not the norm, the individual has to decide what they believe.

What does luck mean to you?

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