It’s a Gamble! Wagering – Great? Grisly? Wagering – Essential, Habit forming, Damaging

I’m used to thinking of wagering as horrible. Every day I hear stories of men and women destroying their lives, and the well-being of their families, because they can’t stop wagering. Everything goes. Girls speaks from her penitentiary cell: she ventured into robbing banks to pay for her addiction. She doesn’t pretext herself. But she couldn’t help herself. She wanted to be busted. Lose heart.

I’ve been thinking about wagering differently this past while. Not “pure gambling” (lottery tickets, casinos, online gambling). But wagering as an essential feature of healthy, aspirant living that takes us beyond the routine.

My wife and i are developing a business. Now, that is the gamble – with 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 wind up in china and taiwan. He didn’t get was he was aiming for – but the gamble paid for the Europeans.

Farmers plant signs. 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 wagering, 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 statement. 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.

In other words, quite a number of the same people who want a reliable paycheck spend a huge piece of their everyday earnings on wagering!

“It’s just for fun. ” “It’s my right. ” “I have every directly to do what I would like with my money. I earned it, after all. It’s acquire. ” “Everyone’s permitted to celebrate 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, ” (building a business, doing creative projects that may well never pay), they gamble over and over in ways that are set up to make the huge majority of people lose.

But most of the world does live “on a gamble” – or combining the gamble with as much certainty as possible. Traditional gatherer-hunting organizations for instance have the relative trust of gathering (which brings in about 90% of food) and the gamble about what is brought in through hunting (10% of the average food supply, according to my reading). Even with the gathering part, no year is like any other year. The steady dependable pay-off (salary, cherries, etc. ) is not normal.

And with that, back to wagering. I’m going to call the kind of wagering I’m used to recoiling from “pure gambling” – in other words, one isn’t wagering that the weather will interact personally with one’s efforts, one isn’t trying to generate a sale, 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 collected, absolutely nothing is built.

In everyday wagering – which I’ll call “part-of-life gambling”, the pleasure of winning is part of so many other things. It’s part of developing a life – wagering that our reaching out to someone will pay off, wagering that our design will find a market, wagering that the move to another city where there are supposed to be better jobs will lead to a better job.

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