"We play the cards we're dealt."
"Just play the cards you're dealt."
"You can only play the cards you're dealt."
Interesting, yes I get the intent of the aphorism. No, not a metaphor, a simile or an analogy. Can you tell I've been immersed in editing the last few weeks?
Anyway, the meaning is simple. We get certain plusses and minuses in life and we make the best or the worst of them. Usually somewhere in between for most of us. But that's not how card games work.
A single hand is not a lifetime, it's a moment, an opportunity, a chance. You play or not. Folding your hand is always an option. It isn't like life, you don't commit everything to a single deal of the cards, unless you choose to.
In any card room or casino, these words are always spoken:
"There's another hand just around the corner,
you don't have to play this one."
That feels more like real life to me. We are presented with circumstances, sometimes of our own making, other times not. Free Will intervenes and allows us to play or pass. Yes, I know sometimes you feel like your choices are limited or non-existent, but so many of those situations are of our own making.
Most of the time, as adults, we have options. In this First World society, we have gobs and gobs of options. Sure, some things are fixed, even immutable but others not so much. Take your health for example. Can't change your DNA or not eat all those years of burgers and ice cream. But you can intervene now.
You may be holding a poor five card hand but the rules of this game allows you to discard and draw new cards. Your choice, play the hand you're dealt or step up and change the content of your hand and perhaps your life.
Voldemort Death Card image first found on Deviant Art