Senior Surprises: Winning the Lottery

May 6th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

My spouse reminds me that if I ever expect to win the lottery, I have to play it.  Seems logical, but I tried it enough times and nothing happened. So I decided my winning the lottery would come with sharing the excitement of someone other senior citizen winning it.  To be sure, it isn’t quite the same.  I don’t get the satisfaction of doing all the things I have fantasized doing if I ever won.  But I do get some joy out of imagining what another senior would do.

My list is rather extensive.  If I ever won, I have found that my list focuses less on self and more on others.  Maybe, behind that, is the secret wish that if I appear to be so interested in the welfare of others, a beautiful and good fairy will come along and offer me my reward.  Of course, the good fairy is smart enough to be suspicious of my motivations to begin with.

But my list does include, creating a foundation for giving away my largess to causes and persons and needs and obvious recipients who could really benefit from it.  I would like the amount to be large enough to perpetuate that charity for years to come.  Of course, here I go again, that would mean there would be enough tucked away for me and mine to enjoy.  Are we really ever able to be 100% altruistic?  As we anticipate all the good we can do, we are also calculating our next pleasure.  Just as we come out with one more well deserved hand out to offer someone or some cause we have uncovered, we find some temptation luring us in its direction.

Pure giving is hard to do.  There have been some now and again who may have seemed to have accomplished it.  We can enumerate names and dynasties who have come up with hugely generous contributions to their favorite beneficiaries.  But, they always have seemed to have had enough to enjoy for themselves.  We admire well known names like Gates and Buffett and Rockefeller and Carnegie and so on.  We look upon their treasure as something they have earned and then, in turn, have shared.  But the world continues to be one in which major discrepancies still exist between haves and have nots.  The chasm of those with and those without still remains enormously large and nothing seems to quite bridge it.

Some continue to opine that those without deserve to be, since they do not seem to do anything to alter their state of affairs.  How cruel!  How insensitive!  Some come to the conclusion that since they are poor and have always been, they must deserve this sorry condition in which their lives have been thrust.

The truth is that inevitability or destiny has had nothing to do with it.  Persons are not punished or condemned to be impoverished.  Conditions are created by systems and humans and ideologies and circumstances beyond control and leaders without compassion and compassion without genuine causes and understanding.  Hoping to win the lottery is often as ludicrous as hoping one’s way out of a deep abyss without someone extending a hand or a ladder or a means to crawl out.  Finding a magical, fairy land solution to the despair that has come about because human beings have allowed indifference and harsh treatment to condemn them and/or others to their state of affairs, is just that… magic and fairy tale.

The world we seek is one in which we have an equal shot at digging ourselves out of such an abyss.  It is a world in which those with a ladder can agree to extend it to others to climb.  It is a world in which those who begin the climb, do so, motivated by their own dreams of achievement and the inspired ability to reach.  Blaming the world for its sorry state does not improve one’s own condition.  Choosing to be one in the world to help change that sorry state will.



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