Growing up, I heard this song on the radio often, or maybe my parents had a cassette tape of it. We would be sitting in the dark in the back seat of the car, my brothers and I. Probably on the way home from our uncle’s house where our parents had played cards until long after we fell asleep on the living room floor. Kenny’s deep, soothing voice and my parents’ quiet conversation were the lullaby I would fall back asleep to.
It wasn’t until more recently that the wisdom of this song struck me in its simplicity, although I’m not sure that a twelve step program for gamblers would agree with my assessment. Life is never certain, like a hand of cards dealt during a poker game. You always have a choice in how you react to what you are dealt. Knowing when to hold, when to fold, when to walk away, and when to run are key learning points that many never attain. Whether you are involved in a relationship that you should have run away from a long time ago, or you’ve given up too quickly, what you learn from the experience is what will last.
I love the imagery of the old man teaching the young man from his life experiences. It seems our society has brushed aside the older people in our lives instead of embracing them and the wisdom they have gathered through their years of experience. Every single person you encounter in your life has something to teach you if you are open to it.