He said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right

For some people, everything they needed to know, they learned in kindergarten.

For me it came a little later—as a 6 year old in the autumn of 1978.

While eating an afterschool snack at grandma’s house and watching re-runs of the Carol Burnett Show, a commercial came on.  A man who looked a lot like Santa Claus was singing and there was a 1-800 number.

I was immediately transfixed.  And my knowing grandmother must have made an immediate mental note.

That Christmas, Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler, became the first music album I ever owned.

When my sister and our childhood friend Kenneth would stand on the living room hearth and put on lip-synced concerts, we probably had no idea that we were imprinting words of wisdom for life on our impressionable, malleable little minds.

It’s true.  Not everyone is dealt the same hand of cards, but EVERY hand has the potential to be both a winner or a loser.

In life,  you have to read your skills and talents just like you would a hand of cards and learn to adapt to each game so that your strengths are your strength.

With a little bit of strategy, a little bit of thought, a little bit of optimism, and a little bit of luck…

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away

Know when to run





by Dr. Brent

Reader Comments

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suzanne spina

I need to remind myself about the “knowing when to run” part more often. Thanks for the reminder. Have a very merry Christmas tomorrow~ xo

Dolores Gerber

I loved Kenny Rogers’s The Gambler! Music has always been an inspiration to me too! Glad to see its the same for you!


I too grew up in NC (Goldsboro area) and I loved the song the Gambler. I would swing on my swing set singing it at the top of my lungs. A friend of my mom’s would come over and I would pull out our floor sweeper and use it as a microphone to sing to him. He’d then take me to the 7-11 for a bag of candy. Music was a huge part of our single mother household of 5 kids. It is good to see similarities in other people. Bless you!


Je suis très heureux et excité pour vous deux, garçons, et a été tellement impressionné par la façon dont vous traiter à la fois tous les défis que vous avez rencontrés. Brent, votre cisaillement sera une source d’inspiration, et Josh, votre gentillesse et votre cœur sont si touchants! Voici les 50 prochaines années de vie de votre belle ferme en même temps!

PS. I was crest-fallen when your show was cancelled and hope that another channel will resume your journey now that you are both together again! Have the most joyful Christmas!!!!!


SOmetimes knowing when to run is the best advice you can give someone! Thanks for the post. I loved Kenny Rogers as The Gambler although my favorite is Islands In The Stream

Lorrie A. Smith

Thank you, Brent….makes a lot of sense. Sometimes we’re at a point in our lives that when reading your words, your thoughts, your insights…..strikes an inner cord and brings it all home.