Lucky Dog

            ‘I hear a lot of people pointing out how lucky we are to be living here, on the Westcoast in British Columbia, to be born where we were and that it is even a privilege to be who we are and that we should be grateful for it all etc. Do you feel privileged and lucky Camp?’

            ‘I have to admit, I’m happy to live here, considering Putin’s insane war of attrition in Ukraine, but then again, we’re all connected. I don’t feel privileged, certainly not because of who I am or where I come from. I had nothing to do with it. And lucky? Luck implies active participation like rolling the dice, playing the cards, buying a lottery ticket, so no I don’t feel particularly lucky or privileged.’

            ‘But you’re born in a free country, into a middleclass family, never had to go hungry or without a roof over your head, never had to run and hide, or go without meds when you’re sick. Don’t you think that constitutes privilege?’

            ‘You can always measure yourself against others that are worse or better off, if it’s in school, in life, or in health but just the fact that I’m living in a modern, free society and have a social security blanket as well as some self-made comfort doesn’t make me lucky or special. I wish everybody would have what we have but it’s not up to me to feel guilty about others who are worse off or born in the Gaza strip or in rural China or Africa or Russia for that matter.’

            ‘But that’s exactly it, Camp. There are many who want to make us feel guilty, hoping to prime our charitable instincts, simply by pointing out that we live in abundance and beyond the sustainability of our beleaguered planet. From eating too much meat to burning excessive amounts of fossil fuels by driving big trucks and flying around the planet for our pleasure. It’s our privilege to do all that, isn’t it?’

            ‘I don’t agree. Privilege is a special right or immunity, given or granted to a group or person like tiles or awards. Usually comes with a castle or tracts of land. Emphasis on given or granted. What we have – I have – comes from having made some good choices, from having taken advantage of chances and opportunities. Not all of them easy or free. We can all look back at our lives and find crossroads and intersections where we had to decide which road to take. Or like the blues song goes: One road leads to paradise, another road leads to pain.’   

            ‘Ok, I get it. In other words, all that we are and have accomplished is the sum total of our choices and chances, nothing to do with where we’re born or how rich or poor our families were?’

            ‘Granted, if you’re born into affluence, you get a head start but just being born rich, or to famous parents, does not guarantee a successful or happy life. Sometimes that can even be a handicap. In contrast, there are multitudes who have succeeded by coming from very poor and so called under-privileged backgrounds. Nothing to do with luck or the price of bananas.’

            ‘Let’s get something straight here. You don’t feel lucky, privileged, advantaged, special or part of an elite or the one percent.’

            ‘That’s right. Just my humble, ordinary, average self. Special only to the ones that love and like me.’

            ‘I happen to be one of them Camp. I think you’re special, in your own unique way.’

            When Vicky came by with two mugs of freshly drawn goodness, I had to ask her. ‘Do you think you’re lucky?’

            She gave me a funny look, put her free hand on her hip and said: ‘My mom brought home a rescue dog from the pound when I was little. He only had one eye and one ear and hobbled around on three legs. She named him Lucky. He was a happy dog.’

2 thoughts on “Lucky Dog

  1. Thank you for sharing these thoughts Bruno. It has been my good fortune to be connected with someone who lives at the same time and writes well about ideas, thanks to our Jo B, bot not Job.


  2. Just like Lucky the 3-legged dog, its about balance. Sure we made some good (and bad) choices and (mostly) worked hard, but good fortune played a major role the favourable circumstances of our lives.


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