No Change — ‘This is always how it is done.’

My kids are reading “To Kill a Mockingbird”.   This is a great book about lawyering and about taking a stand, if and when necessary, even when contrary to a majority view. Being able to take a stand, sometimes as the lone ranger, is an extremely important part of lawyering.   By contrast, accepting a situation merely because “this is always how it is done” lacks courage and independence.   At one time everyone knew the earth was flat.

The above perspective is a state of mind.  The excerpt below from an old New Yorker magazine framed on the wall in our home touches on this perspective. It is worth pondering (well beyond gambling):

All the people in a casino understand the concept; they may be crude or dizzy or deluded, but they all know how to imagine life as something more than a dreary chore.  They can see that something wonderful might happen, something that could change their lives – this is their fool’s secret, one they share with drunks, children, and artists.    .    .    .    [W]e understand these gamblers better than we understand the men and women  of the university where we worked, people who – full of purpose and high sentence and, often, considerable charm – seemed curiously reduced when it came to vision and possibility.  They had grown up, become professional, acquired some wisdom, and accepted things as they were.

from The New Yorker, “Good Lessons”, by Frederik and Steven Barthelme, March 8, 1999

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