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I don’t believe in “just deserts.” Or just desserts, either. The image that comes to mind is the movie scene that’s known as “the greatest pie fight ever.” You can watch it on YouTube Here. The movie is The Great Race made in 1965, with Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, and others performing slapstick at its messiest.

In the pie fight scene, Tony Curtis, in a white suit, walks unscathed (mostly) through a bakery where pastry missiles are flying in all directions, landing indiscriminately, creating a chaos of destruction. A metaphor for life, surely.

Certain people, it seems to me, get clobbered time after time with every messiness life can bring, while others–like me–don’t. It has nothing to do with justice either way. In fact, I have to think there really is such a thing as bad luck. And good luck, too.

Some will quote the saying, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” But that’s so not true for many, many hard-working people. Lucky is random. Lucky is impartial. Lucky is a terrible judge of character.

There’s an old joke about the person who prayed fervently, “Lord, please let me win the lottery!” Day after day, the same prayer. Finally, one day, a voice thunders from on high: “Help me out. Buy a ticket.”

Maybe some machinery of creation bought me a really good ticket. I’m extremely grateful, and I feel obliged to distribute the proceeds of my life to the best of my ability.

Hallmark published this verse of mine a while back, and probably holds a copyright. But here it is anyway, because it might be the definitive statement of my personal philosophy, and I’d hate for it to disappear forever into some corporate archive.


To have a grateful attitude

is always to believe

That everything in life

is but a gift that we receive.

So if the day brings laughter,

dark clouds, or hills to climb,

The heart can still be thankful

for hope and strength and time.

And gratitude remembers

throughout the longest night

That hands were made for holding,

that morning brings the light.


Barbara Loots

©HMK Inc.


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