Ready to rum­ble and gam­ble?

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - CLOVIS TOON | LETTERS -

Dear Edi­tor,

It has been said that “life is a gam­ble”. It is the irony of not know­ing that we don’t know. But a spirit has for­ever hounded us that we will never know un­til we try (to know).

To the more ob­ser­vant, we are in­creas­ingly head­ing for a world hinged on ‘the gam­ble’, and events such as the novel coro­n­avirus pan­demic serve as ac­cel­er­ants to get­ting to this end.

No­tice how in­dus­tries and other as­pects of so­cio-eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity which are based on spec­u­la­tion and the hu­man de­sire for ‘spec­u­la­tive au­thor­ity’ have fared very well, such as money mar­kets, polling and bet­ting-de­pen­dent sport­ing. How­ever, there is an im­pend­ing weak­ness. For while the ‘gam­bler’ will ex­hibit pos­i­tive at­tributes, such as fo­cus, in­no­va­tion and courage, he may be­come com­pul­sive, ir­re­spon­si­ble, un­eth­i­cal, and per­haps im­moral, keep­ing his eye on ‘the prized fruit’ while ig­nor­ing the gap­ing hole in his bas­ket.

Gam­bling is more ac­com­mo­dat­ing of and favours the wealthy, for re­gard­less of the set-up, the dy­nam­ics of the pro­ceeds will al­ways be heav­ily skewed to­wards the rich. So what should the ‘lit­tle’ man and na­tions, like ours, do about his/her need to spec­u­late? Firstly, we must never fall vic­tim to our des­per­a­tion, lest we fall vic­tim to the snare of wicked men. Se­condly, we have to take time to iden­tify and re­pair our crit­i­cal and rooted weak­nesses, lest we pro­ceed in the same vein as Al­bert Ein­stein’s def­i­ni­tion of in­san­ity or be like hyp­ocrites. Lastly, we have to know our­selves and that with which we are at war, and al­ways be re­al­is­tic.

As an­cient Chi­nese Gen­eral Sun Tzu, pre­sumed au­thor of The Art Of War, sug­gested, don’t try to fight a bat­tle that you can­not win but en­deav­our to evade a stronger en­emy, and note that one can re­cover from be­ing cap­tured and ruled over, but wil be less able to do so after the mass death and de­struc­tion of your own.

Mighty King David as­cribed his prow­ess to God in Psalm 144 verse 1 which says, “Blessed be the Lord, my strength, which tea­cheth my hands to war, and my fin­gers to fight.” May He do the same for us in our (His) bat­tles.

An­dre O Sheppy Nor­wood, St James as­trangely@out­

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