Wednesday, January 13, 2016

We can all Win the Powerball

Dear Peyton,
      I admittedly purchased a Powerball ticket two days ago after filling up my gas tank with some pure, cheap, Rocky Mountain gasoline. As I looked to my left at the gas station I noticed they were advertising selling Powerball tickets. At the time the winner was promised one billion dollars. I thought to myself, while it is true and undeniable that my odds in winning are about one in three hundred million, what the heck, if the Almighty wants me to win, I sure as heck will.
     And then, naturally I started contemplating what I would do with a cool billion in my pocket. Would I quit my job and travel the world? Would we move to Israel on the spot? Would I donate all my money to saving the whales? But then I thought more about it and I realized that I wouldn't do anything drastic. I love my job, so I wouldn't be going anywhere, and my family and I are very happy people so we wouldn't be making any abrupt changes. I would keep it simple, pay off my mortgage, and college loans, buy a second car and install a garage into my house. I probably would also buy a home in Israel that we'd visit for the holidays each year, and that would basically be it. 
      After fantasizing about these luxuries for a few minutes I reflected on an incredible lecture I have heard several times by a friend and mentor named Rabbi M. Rabbi M speaks at great length about the topic of happiness and how fortunate we are living in this world. For example if G-d forbid I was blind, but had the opportunity to pay for an expensive surgery to restore my sight, what dollar amount would that be worth for me?  Would I pay a million? Ten million? More?
Or if someone offered me fifty million dollars for the opportunity to remove my eyes would I take it? After all, I could then afford to go travel and explore the world. But is it worth being able to forfeit my eyes for the sake of traveling the world if I cannot see the landscape that I am exploring? Or if someone offered me millions of dollars for my two legs, would I sell them? Would it be worth it?
Or how about someone in need of my two kidneys? Would I give them both up, for a few million dollars if it meant I would have to live my life going through dialysis, being unable to process waste on my own? Or what if G-d forbid a person was suffering through a life threatening illness, and only a 75 million dollar surgery could save his life? If he wasn't blessed with having the 75 million dollars, how far would a person go to come up with those funds? And if he was blessed with those 75 million dollars, would he decide it wasn't worth giving up the 75 million to save his life?
      The Torah teaches, "Who is rich? The one who is happy with his lot." It thus emerges, dear Peyton, that with only a little thought exercise, we can come to an appreciation for how unbelievably rich and blessed each and everyone of us are. The mere fact that we are alive is worth hundreds of millions to us, how much more so if G-d has blessed us with sight, hearing, use of our limbs, a body that processes waste, the ability to walk, a loving family or community? If G-d blesses me with a billion and a half dollars, there is no doubt, I will be one happy man. However let's not kid ourselves; I don't need to win this silly lottery to be able to bask in the immense wealth with which G-d has blessed me.

Forever yours,
Danny Wolfe

1 comment:

  1. Like your philosophy it very like mine. Unfortunately most plater winning nothing are to disappointed to see that. As you say if I were blessed with the prize I would be happy. But how can possible get it if he or she is not in it. So that I tried it myself online cause I'm too far from the States now ( thelotter review). There came nothing of that but I still a happy man.