Is there such a thing as luck?  A blues song recorded long ago and covered again and again says, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”  People go to casinos across America and play the lotteries hoping for that big strike.  Some do it for entertainment but more probably hope that luck will bring them fortune.  Sadly, it is often those who can least afford to lose who blow the most money. 

Adrian Savage has an excellent post about luck on Lifehack.  Once again, it is interesting to find congruence with Buddhist principles of cause and effect, even when they are not denominated as such.  The Savage post doesn’t deal with gambling per se but discusses other perspectives about people attributing their circumstances to bad luck.  He dismisses such thoughts, suggesting that people realize that they can and should simply take control of their own lives.  He concludes that “your luck … is pretty much what you choose it to be.” 

I couldn’t agree more.  However, I would add to the discussion that effects of negative karma, could readily be perceived as bad luck–when in fact, of course, they are a consequence of bad causes made at a prior time.  Making good causes now will create better effects in the future, that will not necessarily eradicate karma (luck, very loosely speaking) or effects from past causes.  To really change that negative karma entails a Buddhist practice for oneself and others–chanting the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and explaining the reality of this teaching to others.