Chin Up, Darling: You Can Win Every Hand You Are Dealt


There is always a path to peace and progress.

Written by Krystle C. Word
Baltimore, MD


When I was a preteen, my older cousins taught me to play spades. The first thing I learned was the hierarchy of each suit and how to count my potential books. This was easy enough. But time and time again, I would be dealt great hands and I would still lose. My cousins, who were wiser, more seasoned, and had studied the game, managed to win even when they were dealt what should have been hopeless hands.

Life is one big old game of spades, y’all. There are so many things that we do not have control over; we must simply play the cards that we are dealt. But, even seemingly losing hands can bear favorable outcomes if you pay attention, calculate your moves, and keep your chin up. Life is going to toss you some crap. But to that, I ask: what are you going to do about it?

If you follow Oprah at all you know that she has a list of life’s truisms that she categorizes as “things I know for sure.” If we are self-aware and actively attending to our personal growth then we will start to develop our own lists of life’s certainties. One thing that I know for sure is that there is always a way out. No matter how bleak a circumstance appears or how daunting the challenge you are facing, there is always light. There is always a path to peace and progress.


We may have different approaches to spirituality, but we must believe in something. Without a sense of faith, it is nearly impossible to keep going when we do not readily see the possibility of improvement or resolution. Faith allows us to persist anyway. Find your spirituality. Connect with God, find meaning in positive energy or seek comfort in knowing that you have a distinct and divine purpose in this huge universe. I do not care how you do it, but sure up your faith…you will need it.


I became a better spades player by learning from those lost books and miscalculations. I learned to open my eyes, study my opponents, and ultimately make better decisions. We will always make mistakes (it is an inevitable part of our humanness), but we should avoid making the same mistakes again and again. Instead of wallowing in defeat when things go wrong, study the game. What went wrong? Were you outsmarted? Did you miss some key signs? Whatever it was, study and learn.


You are not going to win with the same approach you have been taking. That is just illogical. Something is not working. If you are learning from your mistakes you will start to explore new tactics. There are 26 letters in the alphabet. Do not get hung up on Plan A. Be creative.


You may have been dealt a crappy hand, but one sure way to let everyone else know that you are weakened is to hold your head down. Things will get better…keep your chin up and look as if they already have.


If you do not see the light at the end of the tunnel, do not be discouraged; it is likely shining from within.