This Maxim is one that would seem to contradict earlier Maxims on the subject. When we are told to “Recognize fortune” and even “Be fond of fortune” to not trust in fortune would seem to be farthest from the minds of the authors of the Maxims. However to recognize something and even to be fond of it is not the same as trusting it. As an example, one can recognize a child and be fond of that child while not trusting her alone with a crayon and a white wall.
Fortune is much the same as the child of the example as bad fortune is as likely to happen to us as good fortune. The Romans even had a festival devoted to the Goddess Fortuna – Tychê in Greek – where they would try to determine what the omens would be for the following year. This custom is reflected in the many people who read their horoscopes daily or seek the services of ‘fortune-tellers’ in an attempt to see what is coming in their lives. The thing wrong with this is that we need to recognize when good fortune has entered our lives and be fond of it when it has entered but we cannot trustpredictions of what our fortunes will be. This is a lesson that this Maxim tries to teach us, but only we can know if we have learned it.