A few weeks ago I saw a movie called Summit. The movie describes two teams of climbers trying to climb the K2 mountain at the same time. When this happened, many people died in one of the worse tragedies that ever happened in the climbing world.
I liked the movie as I probably understood it better than most people, having read many such accounts over the years. I felt that at times it was too technical and that often it was hard to recognize the major actors. I still felt that the acting was very good.
The big difference was the philosophy of each team; one team emphasized that if one was not well prepared then they would not be accommodated while the other would go beyond what was possible to have their customers reach the summit, even if they lacked experience and training. One team went with little oxygen while the other had it in spades. In the end, it came down to luck or lack of it. Some survived the storm out of luck and perhaps grit while others had less luck and perhaps less grit. It does not help of course if the guy who is above you slides down and plows through the rest of the climbers.
In then end, despite paying a lot of money, many died simply because they were in the wrong area at the wrong time. Sure, some were not as well prepared but both leaders of the expeditions died. Both had plenty of experience. But when the Gods are against you, you lose.
Sometimes in life your luck will run out, and despite being well prepared, you will have to swallow the bitter pill. In other words, if your time is up, it is up. Neither money nor experience can save you. Experience and good preparation can only go so far.
In life, a lot of people who think that they are good are probably merely lucky, the happy recipient of the Gods smiling down on them. Conversely, some people who fail are merely unlucky, not being there at the right time or the right moment. In the memorable phrase of one of my ex co-workers, “Life’s a bitch!”.
I want to end with this;
All men live enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life.
From Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville.