“We’ve won!” My wife laughed.
“The Lottery,” she hollered. “Enough for a coffee, but we’ll have to share it!”
We weren’t disappointed, lacking lolly as we do, it's little hold on us.
Though it has been found that lottery winners world wide are happier after a year than they’d been previously, many are worse off emotionally as they fight off begging letters, neighbours wanting handouts, friends expecting free meals and family demanding a share of the loot. We knew a man who had gone on a spending frenzy, treating all in his local pub, taking pals off on lavish holidays, buying family houses and cars. After a few wild years, he woke up one morning with nothing and had to sell his big house and flash cars and go back to work. He was surprised it made him feel normal and content. “Nobody’s chasing me for drinks, meals, money or presents. and I know who my friends are - a couple who’d always been there for me. Blood Lottery!”
The day Britain’s first lottery winner was announced, I was walking along a beautiful estuary with a man I knew. He was in a rage, “Fancy that man giving most of his winnings to charity!”
“What would you’d have done with it?” I asked.
“New house, good car, child into a better private school, great holiday, bank the rest.”
I discovered this man was elaborately cheating the government, claiming assistance and the dole for all members of his family, getting every last thing he could from social security, at the same time he was running a profitable one-man business and avoiding UK taxes by pretending he was operating from a relative’s address in another country, and educating his child at a minor private school.
Money spoils. I know this well from my own family and also from the vast inheritances which have skewed some of my own relatives before and after inheriting. It is partly why I’ve always shunned money. Indeed, some friends who’ve ‘made it’ have changed afterwards, all airs and graces, somewhat superior etc.... sham; shame, they’re no better for it, indeed, worse friends than before, which says something. Certain members of my family who’ve retained ancient money have a tendency to be superior without even knowing they act with arrogance.
As Trump has shown, money tarnishes. Seeing only profit, he cares not for the environment, it’s a resource to exploit until it runs dry. Even my own elder brother thinks like this, to him profit is everything. When working for a charity in The Maldives, we spotted fishermen hauling in turtles illegally too young; we explained why this would quickly diminish the stock. They blurted, “Then we’d better hurry and harvest them all before others do!”
That’s the absurdity of money and profit. Unfortunately, for three centuries we’ve lived in a world where exploitation has been regarded as good. This has created nations built on financial growth and governments which put that above sustainability and the needs of their people. Almost every nation is doing this and the richest countries dominate, this means any who don’t wish to follow this blind madness become underdogs whose values are ignored.
No wonder there is little impetus for change. Yet it starts with the people. You and me. The Arab spring went messy, but showed the owner of mass action. We either need a powerful government which aims for concrete change or we need mass action, which means that people living in powerful countries have treble the power to change things.
Many who read this blog come from such lands. Please act. A week ago I emailed my entire address book, alerting contacts to my last blog about a simple site to unify global Climate action. I’ve had few responses, which made me aware of the difficult road ahead. We are plunging the entire Planet into chaos, danger and disaster, but we look the other way and keep buying all the wrong things, and keep living as we have become used to living. Yet most of our grandparents lived full, good lives with a tenth of what we now consider we must have!
We need a mental shift and that’s the reason I’ve been writing a series of books to help nudge this change in people (that’s if anyone buys them!). We have to understand that we don’t require all the stuff they try to sell us. We buy it because we feel empty, but we’re OK without it, in fact we are greater. (*See this amusing story as an illustration)
I realise I’ve lost a few of my original regular readers by talking of Global Warming. Who cares. Those who keep reading are as concerned as we all ought to be. The others are blind to the power we have to avoid the dangers the present presents.
*go to odds/moments