Have you ever watched a live game of soccer??? Or football as we Non-Americans say….
Let us imagine a football match, oops, soccer match. SOCCER!! OKAY??
otherwise some will ask where the fuck are the quarterbacks?? Hahaha!!
A team is one goal down, a good team, a strong team, while the opposition is a weak team, or rather not ‘as strong’ as the former, lets say team A.
Lets say team A has put in everything, they dominated the ball possession, they have had a slew of chances, really good chances, but somehow, they could not finish them, or spurned them, if said bluntly.
They have had a sturdy, rather impervious defence except for that one, one scrape of a goal, a fluke that they conceded.
But, but even after conceding, they have not backed down, they have shown spirit, they have created chances, real intent, hunger, for that equalizing goal.
They have played like true champions, but, but, but, there is nothing to show for it on the score sheet.
On the other hand, there is this other team, which knows, every player, manager, fans know it in their gut that theirs is the weaker team. In fact they had known it before that match, which happens to be a crucial match, that is, if A wins or draws, they will be crowned the champions of the league, and won’t if they lose. And if B wins, they will escape the relegation into the lower division, and otherwise not.
Team B is aware of the stakes, they have come with a game plan, away from home, through their limited chances, they took a lead, somehow, but, the other team has been pressing hard against them.
They are hanging by a thread, their backs pressed against the wall.
But, but, but they have shown great spirit, optimism, they have put ‘their lives’ on the line, defending that vital lead with a glimmer of hope. Well, some chances that team A created were really promising, but they could not convert them.
The game goes into injury time, tension palpable in the packed, yet eerily quiet stadium. Fans hoping against hope, fearing the worst at the same time.
Into the last 10 seconds, and a player of team A decides to have a go, he gets some space and shoots from twenty five yards out.
But the ball takes a deflection, a huge deflection of the defender, completely wrong foots the goalkeeper, and goes spinning and bouncing towards goal. This is the final moment of the game, THE MOMENT!!
The fans are on the edge of their seats, some have even stood up, in anticipation, fear, hope, excitement!!
Hell!! Even I’m getting excited now!
There are two possibilities…
The ball goes swerving and bouncing, gradually, and annoyingly (for team B) creeping, trickling inside that empty goal….
Team A wins, the players are jubilant, engulfed in the sea of euphoria.
The home fans are absolutely mad, this is a special moment, a special day…
But Team B is relegated, the travelling fans, who had come so far to support them are dejected, the players are inconsolable, they were an inch close to safety, and now, right at the death, an equalizing goal. This is a heartbreak!!
The ball goes spinning and bouncing, towards goal, but veers slightly from its original path due to the spin and strikes the goal post and comes back. The goalkeeper rushes and grabs the ball.
The referee blows the whistle and the game is over.
Team B players are celebrating, absolutely ecstatic, they have salvaged their place, they are here to stay.
The away fans are cheering, blaring their throats out. Theirs is the most noisy corner in the stadium.
Team A players are disappointed, they could not seize the glory, so near, yet, so very far.
The fans are holding their heads in their hands, crying, thinking what might have been.
Now the word that I did not use, or rather avoided was, ‘LUCK’
That if team A won, they were lucky, and B were extremely unlucky.
And if team B won, they were very lucky, they scraped through luckily, whereas team A were unlucky to have missed a host of chances that they created, and in the end too, when the ball came back off the post.
what is this thing? This luck?
That many a times, failure, and even success are associated with it.
The notion that ” success or failure is apparently brought by chance, rather than through one’ s own actions.”
This is what I got on google.
But again, if I am asking, What is luck? Then I must ask, what is ‘success’ and what is ‘failure’.
Like in the situation, I imagined, scoring the goal, and lifting the trophy, surely was a ‘success’ for team A, and the ball striking the post, and the goal not being stored and all that, was certainly a ‘failure’. Simple.
But the concept of success and failure is not as simple, as it seems in the aforementioned situation, it is complicated, LIFE…… is complicated.
What we deem success might be an achievement, an accomplishment, completion of a task, basically a good, desired outcome.
But many of us don’t scratch the surface, don’t want to ponder over its implications, its fruits or its repercussions, in the future.
We just want to be in this period, of success, a trance, we always know that it won’t last, but want it to.
I think, the best way to judge anything, Whether it was good, or bad, to draw the outline, we need to look at its results keenly, even if they become visible in the long term. We should not truncate that time frame, and deem outright, that “yeah man… This thing’s good, this is bad, she was a nice girl, she was a bitch, I deserved that, no I didn’t….
That this was a success, and this was not.”
For there is nothing absolute, not even success, its always relative, and it has both good and bad things associated with it.
And same way, failure too has some good things associated with it, some good prospects, some learning, some thing good in the future, that we right now cannot see or fathom.
We use these words so easily, not knowing their depth.
And as for the role of luck in the game of success and failure, let us assume another scenario, another game, another sport, life is a sport…..
You are in a boxing ring, in front of you, is a big, booming, muscled, gutted boxer, knocking his gloves, staring at you, menacingly.
We all have watched Rocky series haven’t we?
That boxer, is life.
His job is to land punches on you, punches after punches after punches. Sometimes he keeps on punching you hard, for a long time, sometimes the punches are lighter, sometimes the punches are expected, sometimes, they come out of the blue.
But there are punches, always….
That’s his job, that is life, it lands punches on you, it jabs you, it hooks you, it ‘uppercuts’ you…. It hurts you.
Your job, is to dodge, duck, block, do whatever to stop those punches, and try to hit him with your best combination of punches, as hard as you can, and say to him, say to life, “Bring it on!!!”
So what if you get hit, you surely won’t back down, your blood would boil, you would want to retort, to make a comeback. Now you are getting it!! Come on!!!
What if he lands some hard ones, you are down on your knees, exhausted, hurt, bleeding.
But don’t worry, you won’t get knocked out, for its only possible when you die. This period we might call as, ummm… Bad times, purple patch, ‘bad luck’, ‘failure’ ,
You would want to back down, but then a voice from inside would yell, “what are you doing asshole?? Get up and hurt that motherfucker!! Hit him!!”
You are down, but not out, slowly and steadily, you have begun to enjoy this game, understand this game.
Bad time, ‘Bad luck’, failure, is this the end of the world for you?? “Fucking no!”
You get up, with a crooked, arrogant smile, wiping some blood from the corner of your lips,ready for another bout.
That’s the spirit!! Mannn!!
You are landing punches after punches, you have the upper hand in this never ending boxing match, with the whole world as the spectator.
But suddenly, the opponent swivels in a flash, and lands an unexpected, killer uppercut.
The world gasps, you are shocked, and hurt.
But do you lose your spirit? Do you feel embarrassed?? In front if the world?? No way!!
This is life, it is tough, it is a challenge, a tough challenge.
But you love those, don’t you??
This unexpected blow might be what we tend to say luck.
If the boxer sees an opening, by chance?? Maybe. There is a chance, and he takes it, and lands that unexpected blow, what we call it is bad luck.
And if you convert that chance, that opening, it is good luck.
Luck is based on actions, not chances.
Yeah that ‘karma and sins and deeds stuff’
So, what I want to convey is that there is no absolute success, no absolute failure, and no ‘luck’.
It is just, how you fight, how you hit and most importantly, how you take a beating.
Life ‘presents’ you chances, its all about how you take them.
It all teeters, hinges on perception, success, failure, two sides of the same coin, in this case Harvey Dent’s coin.
There is failure in success, there is success in failure.
You just need to know, where to look?