Thursday, July 07, 2011

"Lucky isn't the best you can do, it is just what happens to you"

From this morning's "Family Circus" (which is weirdly restricted online so I will not be including an image).

Mother to Billy: "ALWAYS TRY YOUR BEST." (parents seem to talk in uppercase in the strip)
Billy's response is: "Why can't I just be lucky?"

Within seconds I had a new formulation for my motto: "Lucky is better than Smart" (with its vital addendum "As long as you can stay Lucky"). Now we have the more rhythmic version:

"Lucky isn't the best you can do, it is just what happens to you." 

I can see myself using this phrase with children, but it isn't the sort of sing-song one would use with another adult.

I have a few more versions I have been kicking around recently:

"Lucky is how I live my life, but I get paid to be smart"
-or-
"Hope for good luck, plan for bad"

One part of the search for a new phrasing is that the contrast between "Lucky" and "Smart" sounds like you are calling someone dumb, and there are situations where that is not going to inspire people to be smart. The other part is trying to minimize the confusion. I often get the impression people think I am advocating "lucky" over "smart" when in fact it is the opposite (thus the addendum).

:-Dan