I don't believe in luck, but I do believe that some people are luckier than others. By that, I mean that I don't believe that random events are meaninglessly random, but I do believe that some people, through no fault of their own, are the recipients of a disproportionate number of otherwise inexplicable favorable events. And I also believe that some people are the disproportionate recipients of the "bad breaks" in life. Sure, some people "make their own luck," which is to say that people who go through life unprepared or inattentive or pessimistic are more likely to stumble their way from day to day, but I also know too many people who have endured too much hardship to think that it's as simple as cause and effect.
When it comes to people who just can't catch a break, poor people must be at the top of the list. It's hard to win the game of life when you start out with half a deck. Although there are exceptional cases when individuals break through the vicious cycle of poverty, most people who are born poor will stay poor. In this country and in most countries, the quality of education that a poor child receives is directly related to the income of her parents, and it's hard for a really smart kid to make good on those smarts when she is trapped in the worst-funded school in the county. One of my children has not been to the doctor for a sick visit in two years. That's not luck. That's access to good nutrition, good hygiene, good preventative medicine, and a stay-at-home parent, which are all things that a child in a single-parent, barely-making-it household probably doesn't have. Access to affordable health care is essential, but so is providing enough nutritious food for a growing human body to function properly.
People come into my office all the time looking for financial assistance. I presume that 99% of them are stuck in their poverty because of the choices that they have made. But they aren't choosing between turkey and ham, between Advil and Tylenol, between hiring a babysitter or taking a day off of work when their kid is sick.
They choose to be homeless because they are living with an abusive partner and have no where else to go. They choose drugs or alcohol because they don't have the mental health support to cope with a hungry baby who won't stop crying. They choose soup kitchens and disability checks and handouts because they don't have enough money to buy a car to look for and get to the job they need to turn their life around. They choose chaos because they don't know peace. They have never known peace.
And what does God say to them? In the eyes of God, you are blessed, you are loved, you are not forgotten.