Because of airplanes, it’s possible to eat breakfast in Orlando but have lunch in New York City. In theory, modern air travel is a marvelous luxury. In reality, there is nothing fun about the actual flying. Waiting in long lines at airport security coupled with the limited space coach seating provides makes the actual process of flying no fun. Recently, I had to make an unexpected trip home to attend to a family emergency. Already dreading the trip home, all I wanted to do was sit on the plane and complete some work on the computer in peace and quiet.
Low and behold, I got seated next to the most talkative person on the plane. Once the plane reached cruising altitude, I opened my laptop and began to brainstorm for this month’s blog post. I found a really interesting article on gambling addiction that I was planning on writing a response too.
That plan was interrupted.
After asking where I work, what I do, and all the normal, vanilla questions strangers ask each other, Martha insisted she knew what I was working on as well.
“What is that you are working on?” Martha asked, looking at my computer.
I fell for it… I should have known better…
“I work for the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, I’m trying to come up with a blog post for this month.”
“Oh so you work for the Casino?”
“Nope, we help people who suffer from a gambling addiction.” I tried my best to be informative, polite, but short… these blogs posts don’t write themselves! 😉
“Gambling addiction? Isn’t gambling only a problem when you lose? I don’t see how someone can become addicted to gambling. Seems like just bad behavior to me, hardly qualifies as an addiction.”
Wow, Martha is kind of rude.
Now, I can write on the topic what qualifies as an addiction all day, but I am going to cherry pick one statement and shed some light on what I tried to explain to Martha…
Gambling is NOT just bad behavior. It is an addiction.
People can become addicted to processes in a similar way they become addicted to substances. There is actually hard science on this!
People don’t want to fall into financial ruin on account of a gambling addiction, but each year millions of Americans do.
People don’t want to lose their savings, homes, and even families on account of a gambling addiction, but it happens every day.
The highlight of my unpleasant flight was actually the fact that I got to act as an advocate on behalf of people negatively impacted by gambling. I knew I couldn’t overload Martha with information and facts, although I had plenty to throw out at her. My mission was simple….
I wanted to let Martha know that gambling is NOT just bad behavior.
It is an addiction.