Thursday, January 28, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Wishing you good skill

In honor of Mamma Kat's Writer's Workshop I have decided to tackle Prompt #4:
Luck, or divine intervention?

Rather than take the existential approach and argue if there is or is not divine intervention— I thought I would concentrate on what constitutes Luck and if wishing someone "Good Luck" is the appropriate thing to say.

How often do we find ourselves wishing someone good luck. I have to wonder if this is just a pat statement like "How are you"— that we say just to be nice. Granted, the sentiment is probably very well appreciated— but you have to wonder if you are saying it for those things that truly use luck.

Some things like taking a test may not require luck at all— but rather skill. When you take a test, you need to have some kind of test taking skill in order to pass the test. You need to have some knowledge of the subject being tested on, as well as knowing how to interpret the questions so that you can answer most appropriately. Wishing someone luck in this case indicates that somehow skill is no longer used, and the results of taking the test are no longer under our control. I guess you can call me a humanist in this case since I think we control our destiny in certain situations and need to be properly "whished".

We are giving sentiment by wishing them the ability to perform the task at hand. We are not wishing that they have no control over the situation. Therefore, I think the more appropriate sentiment in these situations should be "Good Skill".

I will leave you with these thoughts:

I wish you luck…
so that opportunities present themselves to you.

And I wish you skill…
so that you can recognize those opportunities
and make the most of them.



Unknown said...

Not to mention the fact that "good" often cannot be discerned at the time of happening. What seems bad at the time may turn out to be the "good" in the long run.

For example - good luck on that ski jump and you crash and break your arm seems bad. But then you meet the love of your live who happens to be the nurse in the ER, so now it is good that you crashed.

After all that meandering, I would claim that we cannot rationally determine whether it was good luck or bad in our finite lifetime.

How's that for equivocation?

Claremont First Ward said...

I'm taking your thoughts and wishes to heart. THANK YOU.

Jillene said...

Cool post. I really never thought of that before but it's so true.

Holly Lefevre said...

That is a great way to look at it...luck plays a part of it, but skill is necessary!
Holly @ 504 Main
Stopping by from Mama Kat's

Amanda said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!!! I didn't really think about what role skill would play in things :) great blog!

Deb said...

i love this. you're so wise.

Los said...

I guess it's kind of like when you say to a friend, "How are you?" Really, all you want to hear is, "Fine." You really aren't interested in how they are in great detail, right?

Danielle said...

Great post and I love the sentiment! I do consider myself lucky in life but you are right...we all need skills!
Thank you for stopping by...I appreciate your comments!

Erin said...

Great Post! I never thought of it that way! So I will wish you Good Skill in whatever the task at hand may be!

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Good thought, but in the case of multiple choice tests, it doesn't hurt to have some luck when it comes to guessing the answers you aren't sure of. I never liked these kinds of tests because I always felt they were out to trick me. I much preferred short answer or essay because I felt that really was a fairer test of my knowledge.

Visiting from Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. I did the prompt about the advice:

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