Although history doesn't necessarily confirm it, the "luck of the Irish" is a well-known concept.
But, as local residents enjoy today's St. Patrick's Day festivities, they also should consider the idea that sometimes people make their own luck through a lot of hard work.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade that will take off from South Park at 1 p.m. is just one of many activities a local committee has organized to raise money for a few lucky and worthwhile causes in Lawrence and Douglas County.
Over the last month or so, the St. Patrick's Day Committee has sponsored a number of events, including a trivia tournament, a 5-kilometer run and a benefit auction to raise money for three local agencies. Tonight, local musician Kelley Hunt will headline a benefit concert at Liberty Hall that will add to the total.
Since the committee organized in 1988, it has donated $340,000 to various local agencies. The beneficiaries of this year's fundraising are Douglas County Friends of Children in Foster Care, Health Care Access and Douglas County 4-H after-school programs. The group decided in 1990 to concentrate its fundraising efforts on agencies that help children in the community. It's hard to imagine a more worthwhile cause.
Thomas Edison said, "Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." The same might be said about the so-called "luck of the Irish." There may be a certain amount of good fortune involved, but a lot of what's accomplished is simply the product of a lot of hard work by a lot of people.
As local residents gather to enjoy today's St. Patrick's Day Parade they should applaud not only the 100 or so entries on display but the ongoing effort of the local St. Patrick's Day Committee to support worthy local causes - and have a little fun in the process.
Maybe a little of that hard-working Irish luck will give our Jayhawk basketball team a little boost tonight!