It is often forgotten that (dictionaries) are artificial repositories, put together well after the languages they define. The roots of language are irrational and of a magical nature.Jorge Luís Borges
It's a tall order to try and explain things like pain, modesty, pride. How do you explain to someone who's been blind all his life what 'red' or 'dark' is?
However I'm going to steer a bit away (just a bit) from definitions.
I've been thinking about the concept of luck. Before reading on, I'd like you to stop and try to define luck.
Merriam-Webster defines it as
a : a force that brings good fortune or adversity
b : the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual
If we agree there's a force out there determining the outcome of certain events, what is it that makes people more or less lucky? Some people believe that carrying lucky charms, such as four-leaf-clovers or horseshoes, or doing certain rituals, throwing salt over your shoulder or knocking on wood among many others, draws this force to them like if they were magnets, or something. Some believe certain numbers like 13, or 4 in many parts of Asia, are bad omens and bring about bad luck.
From my very logical and often proof-driven point of view (I studied sciences after all) I have to ask... what is this driving force that brings good fortune? Does it really exist, is it a superstition? Or is luck just a perception of coincidences and situations by each one, modified into good or bad luck by their personality?
If a naturally optimistic person crashes a car, he will say he was lucky to be alive, where as a pessimistic person could say how unlucky it was he crashed his car; however how much of this was actually driven by luck, or was the crash just an accident?
Saying that certain things affect this force is treading very closely to the concepts of fate, going hand in hand with astrology, divination, and other things which I'm not very fond of.
Is this one lucky bastard or was it just a coincidence he didn't leave home 2 seconds earlier which could have meant his death?
So let's get scientific!
I say make 20 people walk into a mine field, 10 of them should walk under stairs before starting and 10 of them should be holding lucky charms and done lucky rituals. Let's see how many make it to the end. My guess is as good as any's, but I'd say about the same percentage from each group... and, okay, before you call me cruel, we can fill the mines with paint instead of explosives.
So what do you think about luck, what are your lucky rituals?