Why I Don’t Gamble

Why I Don’t Gamble

I feel sorry for people who gamble and can’t provide it. It is only recently that excessive gambling has come to the attention of social workers, philosophical foundations and already the public. In the past, gambling was considered a macho thing for men to do, causing no harm and vilified only by little old ladies of the sewing course of action kind. Nowadays, almost as many women as men have joined the ranks of excessive gamblers.

Like every child with parents, my mother warned her children of the dangers inherent in the world, just waiting for an unsuspecting victim to come along. Drawing from her life experiences, we were scared with stories of lives destroyed by excessive drinking, carousing, and gambling. Once, while passing by the street she grew up on, my mother pointed out two twenty story apartment buildings, stating that they once belonged to her father. His drinking and gambling led to their loss, already though he was a respected store owner in the town.

When I was older, she revealed that my father lost his job at a time when jobs were hard to get (1935) due to his dipping into the till to pay a gambling debt. This personal drama really hit home and I vowed then and there never to gamble.

Of course, I have experienced the adrenaline rush one gets when waiting for your ticket number to be called and the excitement of hearing fifty quarters drop into the noisy box at the bottom of a one armed bandit. My philosophy now is that any gambling that presents itself I will treat as entertainment and faithfully to follow my self-imposed limit of expenditure. When asked to proportion in a gambling pool I tell them of the amazing fact that I have truly never lost a pool bet — that’s right — I never bought a ticket. I have never played poker for money, because there would be no way for me to suddenly leave the game after losing my pittance of a limit. A friend of my in the army once saved enough money to see his new wife and twin sons born while he was in Germany as a soldier. I was surprised to see him in the cafeteria the next day. He told me that he lost all his money in a crap game and couldn’t visit his family. So I went to the winner and explained the situation, convincing him that giving back the money would be the right thing to do. I had to potential not to tell anyone of his soft heart.

No, I do not think that gambling should be illegal, but I propose that some of the tax money garnered from gambling go toward educating our children in the schools as a regular curriculum. If they learn just one thing, I hope it is that ultimately, all excessive gamblers are losers.

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