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Mar-09-2013 12:26printcomments

Shamrock Shenanigans: Luck or Skill?

Let us depend less on the myth of elusive luck and instead sharpen up our skills regularly.


(SALEM) - Each of us has a "personal beef" in the many cliches we hear in everyday conversation. People do not generally mean to be misleading or inaccurate. Yet that pitfall is very hard to avoid. How many of us fall automatically into wishing "Good Luck" to somebody facing a new challenge? The old maxim of "Luck of the Irish" merits overdue scrutiny just now.

I like to think through the implications. The emphasis put on spin-of-the-wheel luck is a disservice to acknowledging that person's actual skills and insights. The outcome of a job interview, for example, is not like a game of poker; it is more like Scrabble. You must think through the various questions being posed and integrate answers into the appropriate job description. And you must fit into the workforce of those already employed there.

That's far more than a matter of mere fortune.

I happen to be a writer by trade and inclination. Yet I think deeply about the thoughts I seek to communicate and do not choose my words helter-skelter. The need to adequately connect is paramount. Gross misinterpretation can prove nigh-fatal.

Sports present us a sense of competition in terms of winners and losers. Yet prowess in achieving the competence to make the grade depends on repetitive practice and not sheer luck. In baseball, for example, it may seem like "luck" as to whom the pitcher is on a given day, yet that pitcher's style of throwing curveballs can be a decisive factor to your hitting a single or double or a foul.

Hence, let us depend less on the myth of elusive luck and instead sharpen up our skills regularly.

Those who elect to simply tread water may find themselves up the proverbial creek.

~~B. Lee Coyne, 3289 Oakcrest Dr., NW, Salem, OR 97304--(503) 365-7533


NOTE: B. Lee Coyne first emerged as a Caucasian cub reporter for the Black weekly NY Voice and was assigned to cover numerous civil rights struggles. It has left its indelible mark on his mindset. He can be contacted at:

B. Lee Coyne, a NYC native, blends three careers: Journalist, Counselor, Educator. His writings have appeared in newspapers and magazines on the East and West Coasts and the Southwest. He loves the art of the interview and has covered such persons as Dr. King's 1963 "Dream" speech and Sen. William

Proxmire as an advocate for the environment. A global traveller to some 30 countries aboard, he speaks Spanish semi-fluently and very rudimentary Russian, Tagalog, German, Arabic and Hebrew.

Lee's legacy here in Salem includes launching the Salem Peace Mosaic at the YMCA and doing a radio talk show for KMUZ/88.5 FM. It airs Mondays and highlights lives of proactive, productive senior citizens. He invites you to contact him at:

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


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