Wednesday 27th June 2012, Monument, London
I love the concepts of luck, chance and serendipity. But I reckon you've probably realised that by now. Coincidence, has become a bit of an obsession too, although our brains seem programmed to reject the cold hard facts of probability. Perhaps we shouldn't always be so surprised when a sequence of apparently unlikely events occur. Furthermore, can we really make our own luck? As Wearelucky has progressed I've been thinking about this quite a lot and Warren's tale is a nice example of how I was able to act on a crazy coincidence and join the dots.
Warren is a good pal of Thomas, the very first Lucky Person I found in Edinburgh. Soon after I got the website and Facebook page up and running, Warren sent a message congratulating me on the project and posted a couple of links that he thought might be of interest. Articles like The Power of Half
and Michael Norton's lecture How to Buy Happiness
proved a real inspiration and gave me confidence to continue with my own little project at a time when I was still unsure. I thanked him for the suggestions and the kind words, but that was as far as our correspondence went.
A few months later I met Leroy in Shoreditch and he became Lucky Person number 33. Then, not long after I eventually got round to writing up Leroy's story and putting it on the website, I received another message from Warren. He was truly amazed to read all about the new Lucky Person because his dad was married to Leroy's mum. He and Leroy were practically brothers! Warren was the missing link, the degree of separation between the most current and the very first Lucky Person; guys living in totally different parts of the UK who had never met.
I felt that Warren was now intrinsically woven into the fabric of Wearelucky and I had to make him a Lucky Person too, so we met for a couple of lunchtime pints – my favourite kind – in a pub by Monument tube. He's a real gem and I thoroughly enjoyed our meeting but I think I could have done better with the portraits; they're mostly either soft or blown-out. That's something I can't put down to luck.
Questions & Answers
1. What have you decided to do with the money?
I will use all of it to have a tailor make me a suit made entirely out of cheddar cheese.........joking. I will be donating half of it to my friend Kim who runs the charity Vietnam volunteer network
She was adopted by a British family at the end of the Vietnam War and now devotes herself to children in Vietnam who are afflicted with hydrocephalus, malformations and physical and mental disabilities which are often attributed to Agent Orange used in the war. One hundred and fifty pounds will be given to the Charity Surfers Against Sewage
I'm still deciding what to do with the rest.
2. What were the reasons driving that decision and what are you hoping it will achieve?
I am from South Africa but moved to London 10 years ago. However, I ran out of money very quickly and became pretty much homeless. Even though I hardly knew Kim and her family, they took me in as if I was family and I crashed at their place for 2 months until I could get back on my feet. So this is a kind of thank you to her.
3. What does good mean to you?
To practice compassion.
4. Has Wearelucky challenged the way you think about giving?
Over the last few years I've realised that I need very little to be happy and I try to live as simply as possible. I always thought that if I did win some money though I would use it to clear some of my University debt.....but Wearelucky seems more important than that and I wouldn't feel comfortable using it on me. Besides it makes for a better story to tell the grandchildren one day!
5. How do the people close to you react when you tell them about Wearelucky?
They normally say it sounds like a scam!
6. What are your overall thoughts and feelings about Wearelucky?
Even though people can spend the money on anything they want, the vast majority give it away to someone or an organisation that needs it more. Kinda shows that people are intrinsically good.
7. What question would you like to ask Wearelucky?
I just want to say Thank you.