“I don’t know what it is Aunt Randa. I keep trying to get ahead, but nothing really seems to be working.”
“Yeah, can’t say I haven’t heard that before.” says Miranda.
“Sure but you know, I gotta say, just giving up is really tempting sometimes, you know?”
“A lot of bad things are tempting Danny.” says Miranda.
“I just want to be like you Aunt Randa. I want to have some success like this in my life.” says Danny.
Danny points out towards the ocean shores that splash against the beach under the moonlight of his Aunt’s thirty million dollar estate.
“What’s the secret to getting all this?” asks Danny.
“Oh, I don’t give out advice really anymore.” says Miranda.
“Oh come on Aunt Randa I’m family!”
“Look, I hate to tell you this, and you might not want to hear it, but success is mostly luck.”
“You’re telling me you got all of this with luck? Nah, I don’t believe that.”
“Yeah, I used to think the same way.”
“But come on that makes no sense. I know you worked a lot to get this.”
“So then what are you saying?”
“Look I get it, no one wants to believe that everything is luck. I get that. It makes us feel powerless. But just because it doesn’t feel good, doesn’t mean it’s not true.” says Miranda.
“I don’t know, that just goes against everything I’ve been taught.” says Danny.
“Like what?” asks Miranda.
“You know, hard work, building connections, building your skills, all of that.”
“None of that really matters.”
“Like you said, you’ve been trying to get ahead but nothing seems to work. That’s because you just didn’t get lucky.”
“Achieving success, whatever that may be to you, is like being out in the ocean in a little boat, trying to catch a big fish with nothing but a basic fishing rod with one worm as bait.” says Miranda.
“Okay but what does that have to do with luck?” asks Danny.
“Well, what do you think your odds are of catching a fish in your little boat, with one worm? What are the odds that you are going to catch something that will impress people?”
“I don’t know? Low odds?”
“Oh come on you know. You’ll be lucky to catch anything!”
“But if there are tens of thousands of other people out there in the same situation, someone is going to catch something impressive. Someone is going to land the big fish that amazes and dazzles the world. And they’ll sell it and get rich.” says Miranda.
“Alright I guess that’s fair.” says Danny.
“Right. And what do you think that one person who caught the fish will say? They’ll say they worked hard everyday and practiced fishing everyday. They will say they had a passion for fishing their whole life. They’ll say they knew what depth to lower their line and bait. But really, they just were in the right place at the right time and got lucky that none of the other thousands of people out there caught the fish first.”
“I see what you’re saying.”
“And think about it? All those things they’ll say, everyone else out there on their boat probably were doing the same thing right? They all worked hard too. They probably had just as much passion. None of it matters.”
“But then what am I supposed to do?” asks Danny.
“I don’t know for sure, I’m just someone who was on a boat and caught a fish. It would be arrogant of me to believe I was somehow smarter than everyone else and that I earned all of this just because I’m smarter. No, I got lucky. But what I can say is, if you aren’t out there on that boat, if you aren’t sitting there with your fishing pole and casting a line, then you have no chance at catching a fish right?”
“Yeah that’s true.”
“You can’t win if you don’t show up. That’s all you can do in life, is show up and try your best. The rest is going to come down to luck. But what you can do is try and increases your chances. Don’t fish in the same spot for too long. Try a different spots. Hell, maybe you should try something other than fishing right?”
“Yeah. I guess you’re right Aunt Randa.”
“Of course I am. And look, that should take some pressure off you. It’s not all you.”
Danny and his Aunt stare out into the waves that keep calmly lapping the shore.
The reflection of the moon is gorgeous as it shimmers across the uneven surface of the water.
“But I will say one thing though.” says Miranda.
“What?” asks Danny.
“Once you get lucky, really lucky, you get power. And power is the one thing that can fight luck.” says Miranda.
“Power. They say that corrupts and stuff. Do you have power Aunt Randa?” says and asks Danny.
“Does it do anything to you? What does it feel like?” asks Danny.
“All that frustration, all that anger, all that jealousy. All of it comes from being thrown around by luck. And then, you get something that turns the tables around. You get the ability to fight back against your abuser.” says Miranda.
An odd smile is growing on Miranda’s face.
Danny notices it and begins to feel uncomfortable.
“That sounds like you want revenge or something. Your power doesn’t make you want to do anything bad right?” asks Danny.
Miranda looks Danny in his eyes, unable to hold back a mischievous grin.
Then in an instant, the grin disappears.
“Of course not.” says Miranda.
She looks away and up into the sky.
The moonlight illuminates her eyes and then goes dark as a cloud passes in between.