Most people won’t publicly acknowledge their little “luck-enhancing” tokens or behaviors. But most of us have them.
You may scoff at those who tote a rabbit’s foot on their key chain or the sports figure with lucky socks. But the rubber of rabbit’s feet and the lucky sox wearer are honest about their attempts to manipulate fate on their behalf. They postulate that fortune can be influenced to favor them. They are opposed by those who regard these as blatant superstitions. I’ve noticed that some scoffers have fuzzy dice on their rearview mirrors, mutter small prayers or cross extremities.
After years of carving for mariners, sailing, time in the Navy, working on boats, and knowing merchant seamen, I’ve concluded that the average sailor is less interested in making luck than avoiding ill fortune. This explains the avoidance of bananas on board. Refusing to sail on a Friday, whistling, having preachers on board, belief in Jonahs, and other items sure to bring disaster. The postulate for the sailor is that the water is a flukey place to be at the best of times, and you shouldn’t make things worse. So instead of seeking good luck, you seek the avoidance of ill fortune.
It’s up to you which way you go. But believers in luck seem to be about material gain or winning, and avoiders in ill fortune are about survival in a hazardous environment. For me, it’s no Jonah’s, bananas, and certainly no whistling.
3 Replies to “Lucky”
What about a black cat? Asking pour un ami.
In general cats are considered good luck. there is a famous quote from Hakluyt; on the ship he was on that cat was washed overboard, and sailors dove into the sea to save it. cat’s moused, and provided company for the sailors. there were instances of crews refusing to sail because there were no cats aboard.
My granddaughter carries an old banana peel, sealed, of course, in her backpack. Every time she has a soccer game.
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