The Wisdom of The Gambler

Most people are probably familiar with the Kenny Rogers version of the song “The Gambler” and may even remember his TV series of the same name. For the past few weeks, the refrain to this song has been popping in and out of my head. I’ve even used it as my Facebook status a few times. Today, when the words popped into my head again, I decided to look up all of the lyrics and figure out what message I was supposed to be hearing. After reading through the lyrics, I picked up a few nuggets of wisdom that I wanted to share with you:

How much is wisdom worth to you? The song is a story about the singer’s encounter with a seasoned gambler while riding a train. The singer recognizes the gambler, apparently because of his reputation. The gambler’s experience tells him that the singer is down on his luck. The gambler makes a proposition: if the singer shares his whiskey, the gambler will give him some advice. Turns out that the singer only has a swallow of whiskey left.

Now, I suspect that not many of you are whiskey drinkers. BUT, I’d guess that I’m not the only one who anticipates – and plans out – the last bite of a favorite food, meal or dessert. Or perhaps you look forward to savoring the last swallow of your favorite coffee, tea or soft drink. So, you can imagine the sacrifice the singer was making when he chose to give the gambler his last swallow of whiskey. I suspect he was willing to make this sacrifice because he knew the gambler had something worthwhile to share.

What are you willing to sacrifice in order to get wisdom? Are you willing to sacrifice some time and “sit at the feet” of someone who has experience you can learn from? Are you willing to set aside your pride and learn from someone who isn’t your expectation of what wisdom looks like? Wisdom comes in all shapes and sizes; make sure you don’t miss her because of  preconceived notions of how she should look.

More wisdom from The Gambler to come.