I don't believe in luck.
Fate, yes. Luck, no. This does not mean that there couldn't be such things as auspicious days or better times to do a particular thing, but to me karma precludes the possibility of luck. All things that happen to us are the results of our choices and our souls' needs. Nothing is left to chance.
Too often, people use this as an excuse to not help someone else. Seeing someone in a miserable situation, they might think that person deserves it and leave them to it. This is one of the reasons why unfair practices in the caste system persist. The idea is that you were born to that destitute situation for a reason and that reason must have something to do with you being a bad person in a previous life.
But, as I've said before, nothing is punishment. Everything is for learning. And we don't have any way of knowing (in most cases) what landed a person in a difficult life. It may not have been because they've done something bad, it may be because they are a very strong person and are learning to handle more and more. Like the great guru who did not try to cure his own cancer because he knew it was the only karma left that he had and once he suffered through it he would be free from the cycle of birth and death.
Even beyond the possibilities that this other person is suffering not because of something bad but because of something good, what gives us the right to judge them if it is because of something bad?
We all make mistakes. And there are consequences to those mistakes. In this world, justice is perfect (although not always swift by our standards). Maybe someone did do something unwise and is stuck with a terrible consequence. It is still for us to have compassion and to help however we can. We have all done foolish things and made mistakes.
I hate making mistakes. It is very hard for me to deal with having an imperfect life. I get upset with myself for not being perfect all the time. No matter how many times i am told that making mistakes is how we learn, I still hate it.
When I was growing up, I heard a lot of the adults around me saying that i would be spared from so many of the mistakes of their lives. They had found this fantastic philosophy and they thought, "if only I had this when I was a kid. If only my parents had taught me this from the moment I was born...what an advantage these children have." That put an enormous burden on me. I felt obligated to take advantage of my good birth and avoid these mistakes they spoke of. Of course, I didn't know what those mistakes were. For years I held my life hostage for fear of making mistakes.
From that time on I have had a fierce drive for self-improvement. As I kept hearing, life is short and it is our job as souls to find our way back to enlightenment, I wanted to fulfill that promise. This is the only thing I have ever been ambitious about in my life. I have never been driven in a career and not even much in my personal life. It has always been about finding enlightenment. To put it in terms people around me understood, I said that what I wanted to be when I grew up was a saint.
Since I wanted to make the most of my life, I tried to figure out what my soul was in this life to learn as quickly as I could so that I could get working on it.
I found this to be impossible as a child and a teenager. At that time too many things are still developing and each experience is a brand new one, so it is hard to see any pattern emerging. These things crystallize much better when we are adults.
Now I can see some of those patterns and experiences that are leading me toward being okay with some difficult things. For example, I can now see that issues of jealousy have always been present in my life and are one of the hardest things for me to face.
Jealousy obviously doesn't make any sense in the framework of my beliefs, since my soul is growing and experiencing things as it needs to to move forward and it cannot be compared to anyone else. And yet, I find myself experiencing fierce jealousy towards people who are succeeding where I feel that I'm failing. I've had protective jealousy over my close friendships. I have not had much jealousy in my relationships probably because I have always chosen men who have been rejected by other girls so that I don't have to compete.
The first step in dealing with something like this is to see it. So that's where I am now, acknowledging that it is there and practicing letting go of the negative emotions when they arise.
I still strive for enlightenment, though at a less frenetic pace then when I was a teenager. I'm better now at not criticizing myself for my failures or mistakes and to just pick myself up and keep trying.