A Letter to the Financially Fortunate

What man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.”
Henry David Thoreau

Most of us at some point in our lives fantasize about winning the big one, the jackpot, the deal that fixes everyone’s problems: An illusory pile of money. And most of us who participate in buying a lottery ticket dream of a “better” life, even though the majority of our human family around the globe lives well below our average American means– that and has a fraction of our materialistic amenities, too.

Unless you are an enlightened ascetic or a devout monk, chances are you’re just like the rest of us who are trying to see ourselves through very trying and uncertain times, and more money, especially a billion dollars, would certainly make it “easier.” But with all financial aspirations and material desires aside, how many of us genuinely consider the rest of humanity when winning something like a jackpot and how others could benefit from that jackpot that was “ours”?

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.”
Seneca

As a U.S. citizen, I understand they (the gods of this world, so-to-speak) make it all too easy to drool over shiny, new things that they dangle before our daily lives. I mean just think of the cars, houses, toys, and extravagant lifestyle we all would enjoy IF we had the money, right? God knows we’re saturated with these images from the moment we are conscious enough to pay attention to, well, pretty much anything in life. The simple, psychological fact is that we are all deeply programmed to want these coveted, material things, whether we accept this fact or not. The decision we make is how much we choose to worship (serve) our short-sighted materialism that many accurately label “keeping up with the Joneses.”

I am certainly not suggesting that I’ve got the know-how of investing an instant billion dollar winning while in the process becoming a philanthropist, but what I am suggesting is that you (whoever won this jackpot), I, we all learn to see one another as more than just subjects in a competition with one another.

It seems the best analogy that we all can at least imaginatively comprehend that helps define our collective reality is this: Earth is our living, breathing spaceship that we’ve grown so apathetic of (as a direct result of how entrained we are to focus on money throughout our lives), and at this point, there are enough of us travelling aboard who are realizing it’s time to share and work together as a unit or family.

So, what’s any of this got to do with a billion dollar lottery? It’s really the same thing that goes for any affluent family/business/shareholder in this world. The challenge, if you are to be a completely honest and empathetic human being, is to see all that our world cries out for and how your plentiful hand could simply and wisely help. I’m not suggesting to give it all away, including the shirt you are wearing, but if that brings you peace, so be it. However, the help you give in this world will pay back so much more dividend than any VERY temporary electronic currency or paper fiat could do for you as your legacy.

A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.”
Jonathan Swift

The thing about life in this universe is that nothing stays the same. Everything changes with every moment that passes. And that pile of money will change everything. Like every decision we make each waking morning, the choice of what change you get with your newfound abundance is up to you. To hord or to heal?

So, what does all this mean for you, the billion dollar lottery winner, both present and future winners, too? Well, great tasks and responsibilities await you. Follow your heart, see all those in need who encompass you, and you’ll realize that a life worth living is one that includes others and the help you bring to them. For we all must recognize this if we are to thrive together in the coming years ahead.

“Success is not the result of making money; earning money is the result of success – and success is in direct proportion to our service.”
Earl Nightingale


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