Sunday, July 18, 2004

Pook #18 - Lesson Fifteen: The Greatest Risk You Can Take in Life is Not To Risk It All!

The young man had all the knowledge he could dream of about women and life. He stepped into the Casino of Life and approached the game. A man placed the dice, the new ones the young man had been so busy forging in his mind into the young man’s hands.

“Pook! I recognize the young man you speak of. It is you!

“Alas, I’ve only been telling you my own recollections with every lesson here. When I condemn the young man, I am only condemning myself. Let us continue:”

Pook looked onto the board and saw the squares of victory with their prizes. He shook the dice in his hand, knowing that it wasn’t the victories earned that mattered. “The zest of life is the rattle of dice in the cup,” he said to himself.

The Gamesmaster asked, “Monsieur Pook, how much are you willing to bet on the throw of your dice?” Pook looked at his dice. They were the dice of Talent, Dreams, and Endurance. He looked at his stack of chips, one color being whatever property and ‘things’ he had, another being his societal connections including that of his family and friends, and the most treasured type of chip of one’s most awesome resource: time.

Pook told the Gamesmaster, “Put it all on the table.” The Gamesmaster looked alarmed. “But if you do that, you may lose all your property, all your society, and all your time, and thus, your life. Are you willing to bet all that on your Talent, Dreams, and Endurance?” Everyone in the Casino was looking at Pook now. Very very few people bet it all.

“All on the table,” Pook repeated, rattling the dice. Laughing, he rolled the bones and said,

“The greatest risk you can take in life is not to risk it all!”

“You can be the smartest person in the world, the most talented, the most persistent, but you will never win in the world or with women unless you embrace the glory of RISK.”

“But Pook, I am scared of risk. What if I lose?”

Pook slapped the youth. “You cannot lose! Everyone wants to define your life, to shape it to their ends. From politicians to your friends. Everything is all right as long as you stay you. But if you break out of the mold, everyone, and I do mean everyone, will try to stop you.”

“So how can we not lose?”

“Just as on the battlefield, the valiant warrior losing in glorious battle is honorable. It is not the victory that defines the Man, it is the fight. There are some people who somehow have this curse or bad luck and must eat an excrement sandwich everyday. They win everytime they struggle against that.”

“So to risk is to fight. Then all this knowledge and ‘insights’ are merely the sword, shield, armor, and weapons we fight with? And those who fight, unarmed, are more worthy than those who sit there completely clad with the finest of weapons?”

“Yes. Paradise, spoken slowly, is literally a 'pair-of-dice'. Gamble what you have. For if you bury your talent and dreams to sit on it, you will receive the wrath of heaven. ‘Unworthy servant!’ will be screamed at you.”

“But what if the situation itself seems IMPOSSIBLE? What if ALL ODDS SEEM AGAINST YOU? What happens then?”

Pook, exhausted from this post, began to vanish towards the Pook Place where all Pooks come from. “Just remember…”

“Opportunities are brilliantly disguised as impossible situations!”

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