The 2010 trip to Hawaiʻi was our gift to Mom by way of celebrating her 85th birthday. We flew her first class each way and bought her a ¾ carat ring with 5 diamonds, one from each of us kids. We arranged for her to have her own suite in the Ilikai Hotel consisting of a bedroom, a living area, a kitchen, a large bathroom and her own lānai. Since I was accompanying her I was also treated to the same extravagances! During those two weeks whenever I sat out on my lānai drinking my coffee as the day softly bloomed I thought “if only I had the money to live like this all of the time!”
Many think that if they won the lottery their lives would be so much better than it is right now. I recently watched a documentary which made clear that this is not how it always turns out for lottery winners. Most winners become besieged by sacks of mail on a daily basis filled with letters from people asking for money. Some winners have been able to use their winnings wisely and enabling the money to work for them long-term. Some winners went on impulse shopping sprees before coming to their senses and dealing with their winnings in a more prudent manner. One individual made spectacularly bad decisions with his 5.5 million dollar winnings! Within two years he had to start selling all that he had bought in order to have some money. After just a few years he was flat broke and living in a small storage room at the back of a friend’s plumbing company store! One friend commented on the man’s behavior by saying, “Winning the lottery is like throwing Miracle Grow on your character defects. Everything is magnified!”
An interesting exercise might be to ask ourselves, “What characteristics about myself would I really NOT want to become any worse?” Given enough Miracle Grow, the tendency to secretly judge others might grow into public in-your-face scorn. No longer needing to earn money to pay the bills, an impulse to lethargy may well bloom into a full-fledged life of laziness and an early death. With no monetary constrictions, an impulse to collect may well turn into full-fledged hoarding. Perhaps what we need right now is what we already have? Perhaps we are being saved from our own foolishness? Perhaps Money isn’t even the point?!