St. Patrick’s Day, for the last hundred years or so, has been a traditional day to celebrate the lucky things in life. I don’t have a pot of gold or a four leaf clover, although we do have a horseshoe around here somewhere, but I do have a short list of things that I count as amazingly lucky.
I was born into the “developed” world, with access to food, shelter, medicine and countless opportunities.
I was raised by parents who believed in education – of the mind and of the heart – who encouraged empathy, kindness, understanding and forgiveness.
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” (Aristotle)
I had teachers who inspired and challenged me – from elementary school to high school, and again in university. I was able to risk learning with mentors who supported and encouraged the process, regardless of the outcome. Learning was valued.
I had the luxury of time. I live in a part of the world that allows for growth, and for personal evolution. I went to university, I worked one hundred (almost) part time jobs, I experimented with what kind of life I wanted to lead. I took my time.
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” (Aristotle)
Some of my adventures seemed lucky, and some of them did not. Some of them led me to the people or places I didn’t know I needed. (Isn’t it funny how that happens?)
“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” (Dalai Lama)
I had people in my life – not just family members – who gave insight, support and encouragement. (Remember Father Spitzer’s Fourth Level of Happiness?) My (fairy) godmother who saved me from drowning – twice. Teacher colleagues who inspired, led by example, never criticized, constructed. (You know who you are!) Then, luckiest of all, I met the boy who grew into the man I am married to today. Every hand along the way brought love and luck into my life.
Last thing on my amazingly lucky list: I am a teacher. I have the daily opportunity to do something that may make a difference in the lives of others. It is hard work. It is great work. Some days I can’t believe I get paid to do it, and other days I know no amount of money is worth the struggle, but it is always, always rewarding in ways that can not be measured.
“I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it. (Thomas Jefferson)
I am so lucky. I am so blessed. And I wish all the same for you.