Taking Chances With Your Life (Part 1)

by Patrick Liew on September 19, 2011

I took a taxi awhile ago and it turned out to be one of the saddest trips in my life.

When I first hopped into the taxi, like other trips, I tried to strike up a conversation with the driver.

I have learned that if you remove the salt and pepper from the conversation, taxi drivers can give you an interesting glimpse of what’s happening in the marketplace.

On this trip, I took back more than I expected. His parting words haunted me until today.

When I asked the driver if he had been to the casino, I saw his face turning red. His eyes were puffing up and becoming moist.

All I wanted to know was whether he picked any passengers from the casino. To him, it meant something else.

His response shocked me.

“Yes, I went to the Casino. I only wanted to spend a short time there and have some fun. I ended up losing – can you believe it – $21,000!”

After saying that, tears began to stream down his cheek. I could see his chest heaving with pain and misery.

When I asked him how it happened, he told me, “I was winning at the beginning and like any normal human, I went on betting. I could not walk away from the ‘easy’ money!

“Then I started to lose and it was even harder to walk away. Since I was already in the pits, I thought I might as well try to dig myself out of it.

“Frustration, fear and finally, despair took control of my heart. I lost my head.

“I went back again and again to recover my losses. I was hoping that the tide will change.”

At that point in time, he was sobbing almost uncontrollably. I had to ask him to stop at the side of the road.

I did not want his losses to include his life – and mine.

“What was worse is that I gambled away my mother’s savings. And now, my family is in total turmoil. Everybody is screaming at me and putting pressures on me.

“I know there are people like me who have committed suicide. I would have ended my life too – if not for my mother. Even though she has forgiven me, I still feel terrible.

“I can never forgive myself. How can I ever repay her with the meager earnings from my work?”

As I listened to him, I felt his sadness growing within me. My heart was broken, not just for him but for the many more who have been and will continue to be sucked into the evil of gambling.

When our government approved the establishment of the two casinos, it was a sad day for me.

I have since then voiced my displeasure – and even anger, if I may add – to two ministers in the cabinet. I have even raised this issue in a grassroot leaders’ meeting.

Gambling can be very addictive.

Hans Breiter, Co-Director of the Motivation and Emotion Neuroscience Centre at the Massachusetts General Hospital was quoted to have wrote,  ‘Monetary rewards in a gambling–like experiment produces brain activation very similar to that observed in a cocaine addict receiving an infusion of cocaine.’

By the way, I have realized gambling can come in many forms. Sometimes they come in the name of business, investment, MLM, career, and harmless bets.

The danger starts when I put money in a venture which I have inadequate knowledge about and skills to manage it.

I have no control or influence over the outcome.

I expect to do little or nothing and yet, hope to gain much.

It tantamounts to gambling.

The road downhill after that can be very slippery.

I have seen how gambling has destroyed families and the lives of many people. Many more will suffer because of it – especially those who believe, “ I will never be hooked to gambling.”

When we finally reached the destination, the taxi driver told me, “Please spread the message. You can never beat the casino.

“If you win, you will eventually lose. If you lose, you will somehow continue to lose and lose even more.

“Don’t believe for a moment you can escape the trap. Why take chances with your life?

“Gambling is one of the fastest roads to hell”.

Thank you Mr. Taxi Driver. Your warning will stay in my heart.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at http://liewinspiration.wordpress.com

Visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we avoid gambling in any form, way or manner?


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