Who's the winner?

Do people learnt from past mistakes?

Do people really learnt from past mistakes and not repeat them again?

I don't think so and my assumption is based on a recent conversation that I had with a fellow colleague of mine.

You see, this colleague of mine whom I shall call K, have this major problem of being a habitual gambler who actively gambles on soccer matches. The coincidence of him being my colleague is by no way coincidental; he was forced by circumstances of his own makings to take up this job. He actually accumulated a debt of over 20K from his unhealthy gambling habits. Being a full-time student, his studies is of utmost importance to him and instead of concentrating on his studies, he has to divide his energy into taking up a job and studying at the same time to repay his debt.

Initially, I believed he had learnt his lessons and won't repeat the same mistakes again.

How wrong I was!

As the saying goes, a leopard will never change its spots! It was also spots on for him!

Struggling to repay his debt at first, I could sense and feel a genuine desire from him to quit his gambling habits. However, after a period of few months, he finally let the cat out of the bag and told his parents about his predicament. And his dear loving parents decided to clear his debts for him. And soon enough, he was back to his old ways.

I don't know whether is this a good way for parents to show their love. As a parent myself, I can certainly understands how they feel but If I’m them, instead of directly helping him, I will want him to learn his lessons first. Rushing to help them the moment they cry help will only make them over dependent on you and worst of all, they will not learn from their mistakes and they will stand to make the same mistakes over and over again.

Well, much earlier when he told me that his parents have just cleared his debt for him, I have guessed that the day of his resignation will be coming soon. How insightful I am! I posed a few questions to him the day he informed me of his decision to quit the job and at that particular time while he was talking to me, he was busy placing bets on a couple of matches over the internet at work and the conversation went something like this:

Me: Wow! You still gamble, have you not learn your lesson?

K: Don't know! I can't seem to stop!

Me: What is it about gambling on soccer that attracts you? Is it the lure of easy money or the thrills you get from betting on matches?

K: (Silence. Deep in thoughts.)

Me: If you are looking for easy money, then you are looking at the wrong place! 9 out of 10 people or 9.5 out of 10 people who gambles lose money, don't you know!

K: Not 9 or 9.5 out of 10. From what I've learnt, it's more like 9.9 out of 10.

Me: (Silence for 1 to 2 seconds) If you understand, then why still gamble? Are you looking for cheap thrill? If looking for cheap thrills, there are lots of other stuff you can do man!

K: (Look at his computer screen) I'm not sure!

The above dialogue may not be a true reflection of that day's conversation with him but it was pretty close content-wise. From the way he answered me and from his body language, I can pretty guess much it's a combination of both the lure of easy money and cheap thrills.

The frustrating thing is that he knows that the possibilities of losing is very high, however out there somewhere in him, there still lies a glimmer of hope that somehow, somewhere, sometimes he will be lucky.

Well, to that I can only say good luck to him!

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