|Elsas Creativity Space Update|
today: IT'S A GAMBLE! - GAMBLING - GREAT? GRUESOME?
I'm used to thinking of gambling as horrible. Every day I hear stories of people destroying their lives, and the well-being of their families, because they can't stop gam.bling. Everything goes. A woman speaks from her prison cell: she turned to robbing banks to pay for her addiction. She doesn't excuse herself. But she couldn't help herself. She wanted to be arrested. Despair.
I've been thinking about gambling differently this past while. Not "pure gambling" (lottery tickets, casinos, online gambling). But gambling as an essential feature of healthy hopeful living that takes us beyond the routine.
My partner and I are building a business. Now, that's a gamble - with our time, our lives. I'm also building this site - Elsa's Creativity Emporium. Another huge gamble with time, energy, creativity. Columbus sailed for America. His gamble: that he would end up in the Far East. He didn't get was he was aiming for - but the gamble paid off for the Europeans.
Farmers plant seeds. The gamble: that the season will be good. Designers design. The gamble: that the design will find a market.
People fall in love, and decide to try to make a live with that person - one of the biggest gambles in life.
On the other hand, many people want a predictable salary. No gambling, please. So and so much an hour. Anything else feels wrong, out of control, dangerous. How can anyone live like that, they shudder and recoil.
An observation. Many people don't want to gamble with work time. They want steady dependable pay. At the same time, they have a hugely developed urge, even an overwhelming urge, to gamble.
"It's just for fun." "It's my right." "I have every right to do what I want with my money. I earned it, after all. It's mine." "Everyone's entitled to have a good time every now and then. All those hours I work. I deserve something."
So though many people are entirely unable to consider working "on a gamble," they gamble over and over in ways that are set up to make the huge majority of people lose.
I'm going to call the kind of gambling I'm used to recoiling from "pure gambling" - in other words, one isn't gambling that the weather will cooperate with one's efforts, one isn't trying to teach someone who has a hard time learning, one isn't trying to build a site or a business, one isn't courting and hoping another will respond to us. "Pure gambling" - bingo, casinos, lotteries, slot machines, computer games like minesweeper and so on. The goal is winning in a game stacked against us, and the win builds nothing except the win. No book is written, no grain is harvested, no hypothesis is tested, nothing is built.
In everyday gambling - which I'll call "part-of-life gambling", the pleasure of winning is part of so many other things.
I've felt the pull of pure gambling as well as of part-of-life gambling.
Here's the rest of the article:
Lots more on gambling - the good, the dangerous good, the bad, and the gruesome.
Special point: Good gambling combines with creativity. It helps us move out of ruts, into the unknown. Something in us knows this is a good direction. There is a pull from deep inside ourselves.
As with so much about us, it's easy to mess things up.
I'll end with words from a song I wrote a few years ago, on one of the biggest gambles we're encouraged to take in life - the gamble of falling in love, trying to make a good life with another person:
Love is my kind of gamble
My writing is a gamble, by the way. I'm gambling that it's worth it - to me and to you.
Your comments are very welcome.
As always all the best,
copyright © Elsa Schieder 2007
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Gambling is addictive. But is there good gambling,