Roll the Dice (a Poem)

Roll the Dice

Do you believe that in life

we get what we deserve?

That there’s something better coming

just around the curve?

What if we give and give

but we forget to take?

What if the love we let inside

Is less than the love we make?


Maybe some people get diamonds

Though others just a stone

Some will be happy together

others end up alone

The lucky ones take a lover

the rest just get taken

And if you thought that life is fair

you’re honestly mistaken


Sometimes you get what you think you want

but never find what you need

You may love someone with all your heart

but their love’s not guaranteed

There’s no formula for happiness

You can only roll the dice

and make the most of the life you have

for we cannot live it twice.

roll of the dice





5 responses to “Roll the Dice (a Poem)

  1. I love this one! Although I would say it slightly differently – I feel the dice is rolled for us before birth – our genetics, the life circumstances into which we’re born, culture, nation, etc., define the boundaries of our choices.

    • What an interesting way to look at it. Do you feel as though our genetics, life circumstances, and culture define the boundaries of our choices? I have rarely felt so. I think that they may affect our choices, but not define any limitations, as anyone, regardless of their family’s culture or socioeconomic status or ethnic heritage, can choose to expand their lives beyond those invisible barriers, or even ignore them completely.

      I envision us rolling the dice whenever we make life choices. Every time I step outside, I roll the dice. Speak to a stranger — a roll of the dice. Chase a career — roll the dice. There are no guarantees for anyone, regardless of their advantages or circumstances. A person born with great beauty and wealth can be stricken with illness, or marry a cruel person. A talented athlete could become injured. So what do we do then? Only roll the dice again, and keep moving forward on the game board of life, because it is all we can do. No one really wins or loses anyway, as the game ends the same way for us all. (Too cynical?)

      • I tried to discuss this with my daughter just now, but she rolled her eyes and said that I am being too deep and that I need to stop speaking like the characters in the book “The Fault in Our Stars.” 😀

  2. I agree with everything you said. And I personally don’t feel constrained by birth or circumstances – I feel incredibly privileged, with virtually unlimited options.

    But my work in trying to help kids from disadvantaged backgrounds, and my brothers work setting up schools in Africa, reminds me all too frequently that not everyone has the circumstances or sufficient abilities to do all the things that I think of as normal. For example, a kid born in a grass hut in rural Sudan doesn’t just naturally get to go to a good college and choose a good career, even if he or she chooses to work really hard and do well in school and study, etc.

    And some of the kids I work with here have such short attention spans, such high ADHD, and such poor family structure, that even if they honestly try to focus in school, they don’t have the same ability to succeed that my siblings and I had, where school came relatively easily to us as long as we did our homework and studied and put forth a decent amount of effort.

    • Ahh, well that makes a lot of sense. It is so true that we in the USA and other wealthy, industrialized nations are born into a great advantage. It is so easy to take for granted that we live in a place where anyone who is willing to put forth the effort can become relatively wealthy/successful, whereas there are many people around the world who, no matter how hard they try, will never be able to achieve the same.

      I also see your point about Americans who are disadvantaged by physical ailments or handicaps, and those who will have a much harder time trying to achieve the levels of academic success as their age peers, due to a lack of opportunity or training in their early years. As a former public Pre-K teacher, I know this too well. I remember a study I read once which found that the vocabularies and English language test scores of low SES children (by 4th grade, I think?) are remarkably lower on average than the vocabularies and English test scores of their higher SES peers, and that this disadvantage is more or less sealed before the age of 4. I will link to this study if I can find it. It was fascinating, and led to a tremendous effort in public preschool programs to focus on providing language-rich environments for the youngest preschool students to help give them an early boost.

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