Opinion: Winning gambits


The warning signs are there. One cannot deny it. Still, we hold out confidence on the off-hand chance that the indications are false. What else do we have? Hope is the last resort, right? We’ve all been confronted with an approaching inevitability and stood frozen, contemplating that which is about to happen. Life is going to change. A seemingly irreversible event will soon occur. But just as certainly, we’ve all been blessed with the invariable and then escaped its noose. Somehow, the certainty didn’t happen.

So, as we go through this all-too-short life of ours, can we hang on to an optimism that will help us persevere, if not wholly overcome, overwhelming odds and yet not become the chump eager to overlook the highly likely, if not already impending, doom that awaits? As we mature, life teaches myriad lessons. We learn that those who play with fire often get burned. We learn that our teens years, for most of us, anyway, are not the optimal time to start a single-parent household. We learn that the credit card companies, like all-too-many gambling establishments, are really not looking out for our investment futures!

But some of us do manage to light a match without getting torched. In fact, the sulfur-tipped little sticks can be very handy tools, and some unmarried teen moms raise successful and emotionally mature youngsters. Another exception to the rule is wagering. Against stacked odds, someone wins the lottery. Someone wins the college basketball game. Someone wins roulette. At the very least, we imagine that someone must win.

As the passing years transform us from hopeful and naïve youth into something that looks like a seasoned decision maker, how do we avoid cynicism? If too much distrust leaves us alone, does too little make us a fool?