Last week I came to Otemae to do my Wednesday morning speech. When I was in my car the engine was making a bad sound. Then a lot of smoke was coming out. I had some trouble with my car but I could get here in time, but my car was damaged. I think that maybe I had some bad luck.
But bad luck is something that happens all over the world. There are many signs and symbols of bad luck.
In some cultures, if you see a black cat, you will have bad luck that day. Some people believe that if Friday is the thirteenth day of the month it is a bad luck day.
In China, if you give a clock as a gift to someone that is also a sign of bad luck.
For many people on sailing boats around Spain it is bad luck to have bananas on the boat. It means that a storm will come soon. Also, in Spain it is bad luck if you give yellow clothing to a friend. In fact, even wearing yellow clothes in Spain is bad luck.
In Argentina, you should not put watermelon and wine on the same table. That is bad luck.
For Native Indians in America, you should never point your finger at a rainbow. If you do that, the gods of the sky will be angry with you.
There are many other bad luck signs around the world. If you open an umbrella inside a house it is bad luck. If you break a mirror you will have bad luck. If you put your shoes on a table, or put your hat on a bed, both will give you bad luck. If you spill water, or spill tea, or spill salt, there are all kinds of different bad luck you can have.
Many cultures are careful with numbers, because they bring bad luck. In Japan, some people avoid the numbers four and nine. In other countries it might be 13, or 17, or even 666. Many people believe that bad luck can come to you if you are not careful about the numbers of things.
For good luck in Denmark, people will throw broken dishes at a friend’s house.
In Spain, on January the 1st, people eat 12 green grapes for good luck. In Switzerland and the Netherlands people plant trees for good luck.
Many countries also have many lucky symbols. The numbers 7 and 8 are lucky. In Southern Italy hot peppers are lucky. In Germany, Italy, and Russia ladybugs are very lucky. In Thailand, a white elephant is a very lucky symbol.
It seems that the whole world is really worried about what is bad luck and what is good luck. Maybe the best question we could ask now is what do you think about luck? Do you believe in good luck and in bad luck?
From next week you will be having many tests again. Do you think you will need good luck to have a good result on your test? Do you think that a good score on a test can happen if you have good luck? Is good luck enough for you?
Maybe, when we think about the situation we will see that luck is not so important. We know that if we study hard we will get a better result. We know that if we use our time in a good way to open our textbooks and to write in our notebooks we can get good results.
Maybe, when we think about working hard, we understand that luck is not something that can change our path or change our results. If you work hard and study hard you will get a good result. If you don’t work hard and don’t study hard, and just hope for good luck, you will probably have a terrible result.
This is an important point for all of us to remember. We need to continue every day to move forward, and to push a little, to try a little, and to never quit.
Maybe, when we think about luck, we don’t need to wait for luck to come. We can make our own good luck. And when trouble, or bad luck comes, we can use our hard work and energy to make the bad luck not so bad.
Anyway, your tests are coming soon. I won’t say, “Good luck” to you. But I will say, “Work hard” and “Never give up.”
Thank you very much and I hope you have a great week.