Saying Good Luck

Meghan - Dallas, Texas
Entered on October 6, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in wishing people good luck.

I’m a competitive Irish dancer, and before I walk onstage, I always tell at least one person in my competition “good luck.” I have done this at every competition since I started competing 8 years ago.

Normally, I know nearly everyone in my competition, but, I moved to a different part of the country recently and attended a competition where I didn’t know anyone. I still said “good luck” to the girl next to me.

Telling someone good luck is more than just a formality: sure, it makes for friendly competition. But, it’s also about caring for other people. I try to remember to wish my friends luck whenever they have job interviews or exams, even though many of them live far away. Doing so gives us a chance to stay in touch. Often, a short phone call or email will turn into a long conversation, with updates on other events in my friends’ lives. It’s a little bit like remembering someone’s birthday (something that, incidentally, I’m really bad at doing!).

But, wishing someone luck has an even deeper meaning than that: it’s a way of saying, “your life and the things that you do are important.” Think about it: when someone wishes you good luck, it means that they support what you’re doing. They want you to succeed, whether it be getting the new job, winning a softball game, or even moving all of your stuff to a new apartment. Sure, it’s a simple gesture. But, when they are said genuinely, those two words can mean a lot.

The thing is, you only wish someone good luck when they are either about to do something difficult or making changes in their lives. And that is when they need support the most.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m still a very competitive person, and when I’m dancing, I do want to beat the other dancers. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want them to do well. After all, winning because the competition messed up or tripped isn’t very satisfying.

The really cool thing about wishing people luck is that it is both reciprocal and forward reaching. Usually, once I tell one of my competitors good luck, they return the favor, and often pass it on as well.