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Luck is a Skill?

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Photo: cityofportwashington.com

Some people believe in luck – some people do not.

Some pray for…while…others steal.

Some people believe you make your own luck, and others manage to never even consider luck.

But – someone once defined luck as what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

The May 2017 issue of Parks and Recreation Magazine included an interesting account of what happens when preparation meets opportunity, as told by Daniel Sanford, who works for the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)…

So – you see…there were some kids…some adults…some beetles…and some bins.

There was also some destruction, some eagerness, some creativity, and some cost…

Oi! Oi! Oi!!

How would you match those up? Hmmm…let’s see – Kids and destruction? Adults and eagerness? Beetles and creativity? And, bins and cost? Might make sense. And might even fit more than one paradigm, or two – but…in this particular case…

The kids – match with eagerness…

The adults match with creativity…

The beetles match with destruction…and,

The bins do actually match with cost…

Here’s what happened…

The environmental planning committee for a warm-hearted town in middle America determined that the Park System for said town needed more recycling bins. Yep! Bins! No bins! No enough bins! And – a dilemma emerged…Big D – Dilemma…

…this committee considered and concluded that the cost of the bins – was prohibitive. In other words, the bins were not in the budget!!

Also! Beetles! Chompa chompa beetles! Most precisely, Emerald Ash Borer beetles – these beetles were killing all the Ash trees throughout the town! Gone. Trees goin’ gone! Dead. Gone! At the same time – literally – simultaneously…

A teacher from the local high school, and his eager kids…doing their sparky hopeful best to not be bored – they were checking out the local city departments, trying to connect their building construction and woodworking classes with potential service learning projects within the community! Aye! Now it’s a community affair – surely there must be a bit of Irish in the air!!!

Back to the beetles and the trees – the forester for the town realized that the trees would have to come down. They were dead. Gone. All Ash Trees. Coming down. A total pain in the ash!!

Unless – yep! You guessed it! Synergy applied! Perhaps, as luck might have it…

The teacher, and the students – in their eagerness, discovered that perhaps the best way to use the wood from the dead Ash tress was – for the construction and assembly of new recycling bins!!!

And that project is currently being completed!! Kudos to the kids, and the Irish in the air!!

So now, for all of you, my dear readers…whether you believe in luck of not…

May God give you…

For every storm, a rainbow,

For every tear, a smile,

For every care, a promise,

And a blessing in each trial

For every problem life sends,

A faithful friend to share,

For every sigh, a sweet song,

And an answer for each prayer.*

*Traditional Irish Blessing

Sanford, D. (2017, May). A community affair. Parks and Recreation Magazine, p. 80.

By Dr. Rodney J. Blackman

Dr. Rodney J. Blackman is the Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at rblackman@ussa.edu.

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