Life Is a Gamble


Most of life is a gamble. Very many of the things we bendover backwards to do involve taking some risk. In many cases, we go to great lengths to get a new job, to engage in a new activity, to go into new business or to embark on a new pursuit with no idea of the consequences of our actions. From the time when we first begin to make friends with opposite sex, to when we start dating and going steady, till we finally take the plunge and get married, few of us realize that we are gambling all along. Not only marrige is a gamble, the bringing into existence of children is even more of a gamble. When we decide to have a child, for instance, we never know what the new child will be like. Then, the couples are just like babes in the woodswith butterflies in their stomachs, hoping that the child will be healthy. But if the baby turns out to have a defect, thier hearts will sink and they then will regret about having made the decision. Apart from marriage, a journey to a new place, a drive on the road, a ride in an airplane, a business transaction, even a chance remark may result immediately or ultimately in tragedy. However, we still gamble: we gamble against destiny, we gamble against chance, we gamble against even the unknown.

In gambling, there are only two possiblities: winning and losing. On the bright side of the coin, we win. So long as we gamble against destiny, the odds are usually in our favor, especially when we use common sense. A woman, for instance, who does not have the charm to win the love of a man may pride herself on the success of her career, without ever regretting about having plain-Jane look. There are great women who do not yield to men’s domination or are not willing to be at the mercy of thier fate. The result is usually that they enjoy some other forms of happiness which other women find missing in thier lives. To many of us, gambling is, in many cases, a non-toxic drug against boredom and apathy, and may well help preserve good temper, patience and optimism, which will do us a world of good. On the whole, the gambling instinct is a characteristic of all forms of life. Those who dare to gamble will cerainly have a better chance to win than those who blow hot and cold or get stuck in two minds. Of course, those who take no risks will have to be satisfied with nothing exciting at all. But one point that they should keep in mind is that they have to right to smite with thier tongues or to foam at the mouth at those who have achived something through gambling. As a matter of fact, few of us have the right to condemn gambling as few of uscan say that they never gamble-even if it is only investing a fewpence in a football sweep or a “lucky dip”.

However, on the dark side of the coin, trouble develops when the gambling instinct becomes overdeveloped. It is very much like drinking: moderate drinking produces few harmful effects but drunkenness and alcoholism can certainly lead to trouble. If a man makes gambling an obsession-almost a form of insanity-he will not only lose his property gained through years of toil, he will also lose his dignity and conscience. Far worse is the suffering of his dependents-his parents, wife and children, who are constantly deprived of thier material comforts and mental peace. Wen often hear of wives complaining about their husbands who splash their money about on drinking, taking drugs and that sort of thing without ever bringing the family any good.

The most puzzling phenomenon about gamblers is that most of the mare unable to stop, either in situations in which they are on agravy train or in situations in which they constantly lose thier shirts. Stories about the latter abound every where. There is a man named Ted, who went ape just because he had won two thousand dollars by chance. Ever since then, he had developed an itching palm and got so addicted to gambling that nothing and nobody can stop him. But luck is not always on his side and his sun is not always shining. When he started losing, he couldn’t see the writing on the wall and instead, he went on and on until he was taken to the cleaners and bled white. The trouble of course, is that the more he lost. the more addicted he became. In order to carry on, he started stealing, robbing, picking pockets, shoplifting and all sorts of sinful activities. He now has disease-a dreadful disease that is threatening his life.

Though negative, gambling is no vice if it is done with limits. That is to say, if one sticks to his limits, it is more a game of fun than the root of all evils. It exists in almost all societies, and the most we can hope for is to bring it under control. We can accomplish this by encouraging an interest in so many other activities that gambing itself will lose its fascination as an opiate to a colorless and dreary existence. It can be regarded as an occasional mildly exciting game, never to be taken seriously. As for those who arefascinated by gambling and those who are already in debt, it is really time to give it a second thought and beat ahasty retreat. And, if they drop it like a hot potato and keep a stiff upper lip, they will certainly turn the tables and start a new life. If, on the other hand, they stick to thier guns and do not give it up, they are bound to bring themselves to a more disastrous stage of life, which is certainly not what gamblers are doing it for.

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