Josh and Joshettes, we are actually going to learn a life lesson from a four leaf clover. No this isn’t another story from my past but a philosophy teaching. This teaching comes to us from the famous poet Stanisław Jerzy Lec. So let’s dive into today’s post.
The actual teaching we are taking a look at is “If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky?” You may not agree with me now, but this is a powerful teaching that applies to many of us. Before I break down the teaching let me define what a four leaf clover is. A four leaf clover is a clover with four leaflets and some people believes it brings good fortune/luck. Now with that out of the way, this teaching is technically a paradox. If a person does not know how to count then they will not know it is a four leaf clover. They might keep it or they might discard it, these are the two different things they can do. I’m going to go over each one in the coming paragraphs.
Let’s say the person keeps it, are they considered lucky? I would have to say no because they do not know what the possess. This is comparable to people who get tattoos or clothing with lettering they do not understand. You don’t know what it really is but often get it because it looks “cool”. Let me not go off on a tangent because this translation of the teaching doesn’t apply to you. Don’t worry I have a more relatable translation. Them keeping the clover and not knowing its power is the same as us not realizing and appreciating what we have. As humans, we envy what other people have and think the grass is greener on the other side. That’s why there are sayings such as “You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone”. That’s why I a firm believer in stopping and smelling the roses, basically appreciating what I have rather than what I don’t have. To better illustrate this meaning of the teaching let me tell a little story.
The year was 2012 and I was turned down for a promotion because of office politics. From that day on I hated my job. In my mind, I couldn’t wait to get out of there because I felt undervalued and unappreciated. At the end of the year do you know what happened? I was let go and then I missed my job. I couldn’t find a job with the same benefits or pay. That was when I found out the grass wasn’t greener on the other side. I had lost my job at a fortune 500 company, where I set my own schedule and honestly only worked two hours out the whole day. That job was a four leaf clover at the time and I didn’t know how to count.
Now let’s discuss if the person discards the clover. The clover is an essentially opportunity and many of us fail to recognize it. When I say opportunity I am not only talking about it in the traditional way. Opportunities include much more than a better job, career or way to make a living. Opportunity often presents itself in different ways, it could be meeting someone you haven’t seen in ten years. The reason I bring this up is because two days ago I saw a friend that I hadn’t seen since 2008. Might not sound like a big deal but he works in a field that a mutual friend of mine was trying to get into. So they were able to connect and benefit from each other’s knowledge. I know what you’re thinking this is a one in a million coincidence and I agree. Opportunity can come via a coworker or a customer. Kevin Hart is a prime example of this, in his biography, it states the only reason he did standup was because his coworkers urged him to do it. He had a gift all his life and he never knew it and if it wasn’t for his friends he would have thrown away his four leaf clover.
My four leaf clover is writing and I never pursued it until recently. The only reason that I pursued writing is because of Steve Harvey. His book ‘Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success’, talks about everyone having a gift. So I tried to find my gift, I thought it was fixing electronics but I hated that. After thinking back through the years to find something I was good at and enjoyed I found it. I loved writing and had been writing since I was twelve years old. My writing even won some competitions and I was encouraged to go into this field by my English teacher in my sophomore year. I never pursued it because everyone else told me that computers were the future and I was good at it. I gave up on writing when I received a 23 on an English test because I read the book and gave my opinion on it. For the next book I never cracked it open and on the test, I just wrote an essay based on how the teacher interpreted it and got a 90 and I was accused of cheating. So I gave up writing in general because I believed no one cared about my opinions. So without Steve Harvey, this website would not exist.
There’s no real way to wrap up this post because maybe the man who cannot count is lucky. Who actually knows, this was just my interpretation of the teaching. You may disagree with my interpretation but in philosophy, there are no right or wrong answers. So thanks for your time.
Remember to be successful it's your right, duty, and responsibility.