January 2, 2020

What to say to someone instead of “Good Luck.”

Before a friend began a new job, I said, “I’d wish you good luck, but you don’t need it. You have experience.”

We agreed that phrase wouldn’t work and decided to start using a different saying.

We chose a more appropriate sentiment from the French, bon courage, which literally means good courage or have courage, and is used to mean good luck. Courage can also mean heart, as in perdre courage or to lose heart.

I like luck, but luck is a fickle creature that lives underground until it decides to make an appearance. Oh, how it loves to grandstand! Luck is something we prepare for by moving in meaningful directions, hoping luck will munch on the fertile ground for a while. Luck is sporadic and unpredictable. Lucky times always change.

But courage, or heart, is within our power.

Courage is daily, moment-by-moment. Every day presents a new set of challenges and decision-making scenarios. Whether recovering from illness, coping with grief, standing up to a bully, or wishing to survive the day when we cannot see change, courage is at hand. No matter the size of the challenge, a well of courage is there, a perennial pool inside of us, as solid and real as the earth itself.

Luck can come and go as it pleases. It won’t determine my life.

Wherever you are, whatever you are experiencing, I wish you bon courage in the New Year!


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