Browsing though the March edition of Vanity Fair, I came across an interview with Stanley Donen, a man in his late 80s who began a brilliant film career young in his life and by the time he was 25, he was directing film luminaries like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. Asked how he managed so much success so early, his answer was simple. “You have to have luck and you can’t do without it.” (“Out to Lunch,” by John Heilpern, Vanity Fair, 3/13, pg. 152.)
Luck. We all know what that is. It’s that rare event that puts a smile on your face and a frown on the face of your enemies. It’s that twinge of happiness and envy someone feels when a friend succeeds. Luck is rare, otherwise it wouldn’t be called luck. It would be called life.
But maybe life is luck. Consider the odds of being born. There are 30,000 active genes in the human genome and the numerical permutations of the alignment of those genes to make an individual are almost infinite to the human mind. Now add the fact that one sperm out of thousands makes it to a single female egg to create “you.” Those are stupefying odds, says scientist Richard Dawkins, and those chosen to make it into life are “the lucky ones.” (Dawkins quote from Why Does the World Exist by Jim Holt. Pg. 255.)
Given the odds against existence, I pause today to celebrate my mother’s 97th birthday — a stroke of luck for her and for me. Happy birthday, mom.
(Courtesy of obnurse35yrs.wordpress.com)