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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)

TITLE: Playing your hand
By Anne Linington
08/27/08


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“You're so patient” commented my line-manager as she walked through the room where I was teaching a group of adults with learning difficulties how to play cards. I had found that “Uno” worked well, with its combination of colours and numbers, and the potential to make the game as simple or as difficult as we could manage. Initially it was quite exhausting, having to assist all of the four or five players and play my own hand. However, as they increased in confidence, they could easily place the same colour card, or one of the same number, as occasion demanded. Missing a turn or a change of direction is still a work in progress.

Fifteen years ago, whilst working as a Hospital Cashier, I had to return a large amount of cash- around £3000 pounds- to a private patient who had left it with me for safe-keeping. As I he watched me count the cash, he asked if I had ever worked in a bank? I smiled and said no, but my Granddad had taught us to play cards at an early age, and I had become fairly proficient in dealing them. I thought this probably accounted for how I was able to count the notes with speed and accuracy.

My grandfather must have spent many hours with his three grandchildren, teaching each of us how to play, and no doubt this required particular patience, especially with the youngest. We all enjoyed these games, from the simple Pontoon and Patients, to Rummy and Whist, Newmarket and Black Mariah. All of them taught us how to think quickly, how to play as individuals and partners, and particularly how to make the best of a bad hand. I recently read that to be a good card player requires elements of luck, skill and venom! We had all of these on occasion.

Over the years, when life has dealt its difficult blows in one form of another, I have often recalled that “it is not the hand you have been dealt, but the way in which you play it” that is important. Returning to my current work, I see people who humanly speaking have been dealt very unfair and difficult “hands”, yet live their lives with great courage, humour and kindness.

I am grateful to granddad for his patience and the lessons I learned from playing cards, and the opportunity to use this experience in my current working environment.


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This article has been read 662 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marlene Austin08/29/08
Very nice devotional on lessons you have learned from family and friends. Thanks for sharing. :)
Jan Ackerson 08/29/08
I'm a card-player too, so I really enjoyed this object lesson.
Patty Wysong08/31/08
Playing cards does teach a lot. This was an enjoyable read and made me remember the hours I spent with my grandfather playing cards. Such good memories!
Bella Rossiter09/09/08
Yes, I enjoyed this visual exhortation. And I enjoyed "hearing" your English accent! Wish you could receive private messenger. I appreciate your personal background details. Blessings, Bella