By Helena Rodriguez: Local columnist
I walked under a ladder on purpose the other day to prove a point.
Some men were climbing onto a roof at Eastern New Mexico University and one of them forewarned me not to as I boldly walked right under the ladder with a sarcastic smile on my face.
“You’re going to have bad luck!” he shouted.
“I don’t believe in that stuff!” I retorted back and kept on walking.
Being that I am terrified of heights, I was more worried for the man climbing up the flexible ladder than I was about the prospects of incurring evil wrath upon myself. And being that I don’t believe in bad luck, you could say I was taunting or challenging these so-called evil spirits to just try to get to me.
There’s no such thing as bad luck. What some people call bad luck is what I call excuses for poor decision making or lack of proper planning, which leads to negative consequences. I constantly tell my 15-year-old daughter Laura that life is about choices and the choices we make now will affect our future in some way or another, whether immediately or long-term.
The only way to undo a string of bad occurrences, not bad luck, is to start making positive changes because what we do today affects our tomorrow and our tomorrow is contingent upon the choices we make today.
Now isn’t that profound?
I made some bad choices during my early adulthood, but when I had my daughter Laura, I decided I was going to do everything I could to make up for that by raising her the best way I could. At first I tried to do it on my own, as a single mom, but I soon realized that was a crutch, an excuse I gave myself every time I couldn’t provide her with everything I wanted. So upon the advice of Father Jose in Hobbs, I quit the single parenting act and started accepting help from a higher authority above.
While I don’t believe in bad luck, I find it ironic that the notion that walking under a ladder incurs bad luck is based on an age-old belief that a leaning ladder forms a triangle with the wall and ground. Triangles represent the Holy Trinity, so, according to the superstition, violating the Trinity by breaking it (walking through it) puts you in league with the devil himself.
Now this may work as a good analogy, like St. Patrick’s use of the clover to explain the Trinity, but it should not be taken literally, nor should Friday the 13th, black cats, crossing your fingers, knocking on wood and other silliness. I’ve also broken a mirror before and nothing bad happened as a result of my breaking that mirror.
I don’t believe in luck at all, be it good or bad. Now maybe I believe in coincidences, which are small blessings or miracles, but not luck.
I took a major comprehensive exam recently and it wasn’t luck that got me through it. It was months of studying.
When newlyweds are married we wish them luck, but we all know it takes more than luck to make a marriage last.
When someone graduates, we wish them good luck too, but that person knows their success is contingent upon how hard they work.
With that said, don’t be afraid to live life on the dangerous side. Walk under ladders, just be sure it’s not on Friday the 13th, and be sure to cross your fingers, knock on wood and hope that a black cat doesn’t suddenly appear out of nowhere and cause the ladder to topple on you.
Helena Rodriguez is a columnist for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. She can be reached at: