$1.5 Billion Worth of “What If’s”

The question of “what if” and the slim prospect of sudden riches drove people to spend a collective sum of almost $1.5 billion on lottery tickets. Three people will split the $640 million jackpot and upwards of one billion people have one or more worthless pieces of paper spent chasing a dream. Click here for the complete story on yahoo.com.

I have never bought a Mega Millions lottery ticket, and frankly I’m not sure how one goes about it. Because I am notoriously frugal, I don’t even like the idea of wasting money on a single ticket. My father is keen to remind me that you have to play to win, and he’s always saying “When I hit the jackpot…” Well, he’s in his mid-80s and has yet to collect the jackpot, much less any significant sum from his periodic ticket purchases.

On the other hand, I do have friends who won the lottery. They played very judiciously, and one week they got lucky. The exception rather than the rule, you’d never know it upon meeting them. They aren’t flashy with their money, and they are extremely generous. They have kept their perspective; the money didn’t change who they are as people. They serve, volunteer, give, and live just like they did before they won.

“What if” and a little piece of paper with a few numbers rarely change a life. You probably have a greater chance of dying in a plane crash or being struck by lightning than you do of winning the lottery. If you enjoy plunking down your hard-earned cash for a little hope and some dreams, more power to you. Go right ahead. Just don’t let it consume you or leave you disillusioned like many people are feeling right now because they weren’t one of the lucky three new mega-millionaires.

Go ahead and live your life, treasuring each precious minute. If you want to ask “what if’s,” consider these:

  • What if poverty could be eliminated in my lifetime?
  • What if everyone had access to clean water, shelter, and enough food to eat?
  • What if all children had the opportunity to go to school and learn?
  • What if all people had access to affordable healthcare and a job that paid a working wage?

Better yet, think up some of your own “what if” questions and then go out and do something to make them happen. Maybe it’s something in your own life.

  • What if you decided to start that business you’ve been dreaming about?
  • What if you finally started writing that novel?
  • What if you took a volunteer mission/service trip instead of a beach vacation this year?
  • What if you pledged to dedicate one night each week to quality time with your spouse, significant other, children, and/or parents?
  • What if you stepped out of your comfort zone and became a big brother or big sister to a child in need of mentoring?
  • What if you decided to find at least one thing for which to give thanks each day?
  • What if you gave up a meal out each week or month in order to give that money to an organization that would provide a scholarship to a child in Central America?

What if . . .?

You’ll never know if you don’t ask the questions. You’ll never realize the dream if you don’t do something about it. You’ll never make a difference if you don’t take action. Trust me–you have a much better chance of changing the world in your own small way than you do of winning the Mega Millions jackpot. Think about it.

What if . . .?

Photo by Swipp Inc. used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!


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