Sometimes, taking a risk is a good thing. Sometimes it is not. Sometimes it is downright foolish.
I have no problem with taking chances, considering that they are within reason. I take chances in business all the time. Sometimes they pay off. Sometimes they don’t.
This is part of what makes us free. Liberty is about taking chances. Sometimes we fail.
As Glenn Beck says, I have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
Sometimes folks take chances that, however, make us shake our heads.
Last night, after parking my big rig for the evening, I drove around the corner to a gas station to fuel up my little commuter car. I pulled out my credit card, slipped it in and out of the slot, and proceeded to punch in my zip code when prompted.
The final number of my zip code is a three. The three on the number pad was not working, and all of the other pumps were occupied by paying customers slipping their plastic in and out of their designated slots. So, I resigned to go inside and have the woman behind the counter swipe my card and get me set up.
A couple spots in front of me in line was a relatively large woman with a soda, candy, cakes, donuts, and anything else you could think of in the junk-food food-group, wrapped up in her arms. I was amazed that she had not dropped any of the items up to that point, but I wasn’t holding my breath.
When Junk Food Mama reached the front of the line she plopped the items on the counter and the gal behind the counter rang them up, coming up with a grand total of about $14.00.
“All I have is ten dollars,” said Junk Food Mama, waving ten singles.
Now, at this point the typical person would either pull out their credit card, or debit card, and purchase their spoils in that manner, or they would return a couple items to bring the price below ten dollars, and be happy they got what they got. Ahh, but that would be the typical person. This was no typical person.
The large woman said to the cashier, “Honey, could you hold these items for a little bit, and instead I will buy ten lottery scratchers. I should win enough to buy my food.”
Well, I thought, that’ll be the end of her.
Junk Food Mama took her ten one-dollar scratchers out to her gas guzzling SUV to commence the task of scratching off the silver surfaces with a penny she had in her vehicle (apparently not in the ash tray, though, since a pack of smokes sat on the dashboard).
I, at that time, decided a soda would hit the spot, and stepped out of line to walk over to the fridge-case to retrieve a Dr. Pepper.
As I was walking back to get in line, Fast Food Mama came back through the door and hopped in line in front of me, clutching her lottery tickets in her hand, and brandishing a huge grin on her face.
When she stepped triumphantly to the counter she proclaimed, “I have two ten-dollar-winners. I would like to use that to buy my food, please.”
I fought back the laughter to the point that tears were forming in my eyes. This woman had originally arrived with ten bucks in her pocket, and was going to leave with fourteen dollars worth of food, and six singles in her pocket. Talk about taking a chance and it paying off!
Interestingly, as she drove away, I spotted an Obama-Biden bumper sticker in her back window.
This woman might be one of the luckiest people on the planet. Maybe she should be in Vegas, or something.
Anyhow, on the surface, this was a huge gamble she had no business taking. The fact that she took the chance, and pulled it off, is not the point. Gambling with their money like that is normally what puts people into bad situations. But, regardless of the stupidity of it, she had the freedom to do so. It may have been a head-shaker, but big government didn’t come along and say, “No, according to us, that is a bad choice, and we won’t let you make it.” She had the liberty to take the gamble. And then, when she succeeded, as funny as it was, she deserved it without being demonized or ostracized for it. She had the freedom to fail, or pull off a great win.
Did I think what she did was foolish? Sure, I did. But no one, not me, or the government, or anybody out there in the world of elitists, has the right to keep her from doing such foolish things as long as those foolish things are within the law, and is not compromising others. We should be responsible with our freedoms, but nobody should force that responsibility upon anyone.
This is not to say that I don’t have a right to disagree with what she did, or her actions, or to share my personal opinion on such matters. I can, in this nation of free speech, disagree with you all I want, and voice it to my heart’s content. You can do the same as well, on your site, or shout it on a hilltop, or whatever. That is the beauty of this nation.
America, for that reason, is exceptional. Or at least it is for now.
By the way, I don’t play the lottery, normally. I have a funny thing about gambling. Sure, I sometimes buy a ticket, or go to Las Vegas and pull the arms of a few slots, but like any vice, too much of it can be very dangerous.