WE ARE LUCKY: The luck of a man who didn't venture into space

By Belén Kayser. July 11, 2012


Imagine –just for the sake of imagining– that luck had been saved only for those who could prove they would make a good use of it and would give it away to others. In this ideal scenario, those good actions, touched by fortune, would weave an infinite symphony. But imagine –just for the sake of imagining– that this is a true story, of a chain that unites those willing to give their luck to others. In visualMAG we got in touch with the composer of this symphony called Wearelucky; a project born in Cape Town the day that somebody relinquished travelling into space to share out the money for the flight amongst all those who wanted to change the life of others. It will be a year in August since it all started, and 92 people have taken the lucky baton, offered by an anonymous hand.

At what point did you stop thinking that space travel was a good idea?

I spoke with friends about my plans to go to space and they were excited but had much better ideas of what they would do if they had that money, that’s when I realised I could do something much more meaningful and much more important and Wearelucky was born.

What is this teaching you?

I think you can tell quickly if someone is cool and also if someone isn't, even in the first few moments of meeting someone, people give off good vibes or they don’t. I have learned to keep my own internal radar up and on the lookout for these cool people and that is a nice way to be, always looking for good things, it feels great.

I have also learned that giving makes you feel wonderful and that people are hard wired to enjoy doing good. It is OK to feel good about doing something nice for people and in fact the more smiles you can generate from any action the better. This is a little at odds to the economic system we live in which assumes we are all act independently and are wired to make selfish choices – I think people are more communal and loving than that.

Have you found anyone who did not keep his or her part of the deal?

I don’t know as I don’t check up or ask for receipts, the lucky people could have done whatever they liked with the money so why should they not do what they say? I trust people and I think it is amazing what happens when you do that – people are beautiful and amazing and if you show a little faith they repay that more than you could ever imagine.

When you run out of money to share out, which will your next step be?

I think however long the money lasts I will continue to give but after the money has gone I will try to always make time for other people, always try to help where I can and always try to make people smile.

Seneca said 'Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity'. Do you agree? Can you give us your own definition of ‘luck’?

I think it is a state of mind, ‘the harder I practice the luckier I get’ is a famous quote but it’s true, a ginger friend of mine told me once that if you are nice to people and always smile you will be more open to nice things happening to you and therefore luckier, I think he is right.

He cares about smiles, so much… About people who feel fulfilled when helping others. As it is, his website is an album of beaming smiles; a compilation of testimonies from people who decided to give luck to others and who, in many cases bumped into the project on a corner or over the Internet. “The Internet is perfect for this kind of thing that takes a few minutes to look at and can make you smile, it’s easy for people to share it and make their friends smile". Today, there are eight invitations left to give until the last one is handed. And then, after 100 people, it will be time to “pause and reflect” and see how things have gone.

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