Image by Jeff Kubina

Here’s a radical idea – get rid of gambling. A ha! As we head into the Spring racing season in Australia, it is staggering how much of our hard earned dollars we throw at a bunch of horsies for a moment’s ecstasy! And then it is over, you go home feeling hung over, regretting the moment you chose the horse with the cool name or pretty colours.

Then we have the pokies that drain the pockets of ordinary people every day, year after year. It’s a sad old world when we see people sitting in darkened rooms, staring at flashing lights, hoping that they will win big… this time. As governments and clubs argue over what should be done, addictions are being fed and lives are being destroyed. The bottom line is money and not people. Sound familiar?

We are all responsible for our own behaviour, our own choices but you don’t see Alcoholics Anonymous offering cocktails at its meetings, because it is just cruel. Clubs are all well and good but who are they serving? Their members or themselves? If it wasn’t about money, then they could offer computer games that didn’t cost anything to these poor people. Then, all they are losing is time.

Or how about getting the people out and about: touch footy, knitting, quoits, or a combination? Think outside the square! We don’t have to destroy people’s lives to make a buck. That’s not what life is about, really. You don’t hear someone on their deathbed say “I wish I played more pokies, had more money, ripped off a few more pensioners”. No! The meaning of life is relationships and people. That is what matters, not how rich you are or how good you are at your job.

It’s a sad old world when greed overshadows compassion. Where victims are blamed and responsibility shirked.  There’s nothing wrong with making money. It is when it is made at the expense of the poor or weak that it is wrong.