Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)
TITLE: Playing your hand
By Anne Linington
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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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