Last night #2 son and I were having a conversation about luck versus hard work.

#2 daughter won a pair of box tickets to see the KC Royals game in a random drawing. That’s obviously just luck. No hard work involved, though she might have had to go to the trouble of writing her name down or something .

But #2 son was saying that some people work hard and get good jobs and succeed, and some work hard and fail, and some don’t work hard and yet still get good jobs and succeed. Maybe, but I’d have to see the raw data on that. I agree with Samuel Goldwyn, who said, “I believe in luck. The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

#2 son likes to brag about getting good grades without studying. Yet those who know him will agree that he throws himself with passionate intensity into things that he cares about. He ends up with hard work and success in those areas, without identifying it as a result of his having worked hard, and I think it spills over into other areas.

He was saying that while #2’s success at her job is about hard work, #1’s was luck. I can’t agree. She caught the eye of someone who had the power to hand out jobs, because she was working hard in an entry-level job. She was recruited away from that entry-level job and amazed her new boss by how hard she worked, and has gotten promotions steadily since. How is that luck rather than work?

I feel amazingly lucky about my self-employment. I think the WJS will perhaps never use the interview they did with me because it was too  happy — it sounded like I lost my job and then just through luck was able to do well as a self-employed person instead. But I’ve actually worked quite hard.

Sometimes it might be that success is a matter of being in the right place at the right time, but the right place is hardly ever going to be hanging out in your living room watching TV, right?

Today I have handbell clinic, where I’ll work hard and almost certainly fail, because while I am no longer the world’s worst handbell player, I’m still very bad. It should be fun anyway, though.