On Getting Something for Nothing

The prevalent tendency to indulge the "gambling instinct," inherent in the human mind, raises the question with thoughtful people, "What is the basis of this propensity?" Careful analysis of the underlying motive for gambling of all kinds reveals the fact that this proclivity is based upon the erroneous belief that something can be had for nothing. Games of chance, especially when played for stakes, find their inception in this mistaken belief. This includes, of course, the various phases of speculation undertaken in the hope of gain without due investment or honest effort.

That the belief of getting something for nothing is as fallacious as it is widespread must have been recognized by the poet Lowell, who wrote, "Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us."

However, Lowell must have discerned that, in reality, as Jesus said, "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom," for he ends this verse, in "The Vision of Sir Launfal," with these words:

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September 12, 1936

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