Let’s talk for a minute about statistics. So many times in our lives, we play the “likelihood” game when deciding how to act in certain situations. Think about the questions you may ask when making life choices: “should I get married?” “Will I contract a disease?” Even, “should I play the lottery?”
There is a 0.0000005% chance I will win PowerBall. I’m feeling pretty lucky and I’ve purchased a ticket. Just one ticket with one chance to win it all.
What does this mean? It doesn’t mean jack shit. Maybe what you should be asking is what would I do with the money if I won it? Certainly my closest friends and family would never have to worry about things again, right? WRONG.
Hear me out. I believe in the value of hard work. I believe in learning life lessons through struggles and hardships, finding your way out of them and working through to better your situation. I think that kids born with silver spoons in their mouths are some of the worst people on this planet and I sure as hell am not going to give my kid or anyone I actually care about everything they’ve ever asked for. They can work for it like everyone else who is worth anything.
That’s not to say if by some shitty circumstances my son found himself in a horrible situation that he was struggling to get out of that I wouldn’t help him. I certainly would. But he’d work for it. He’d have to be worthy of it. I’m not looking to pay gambling debts, bail money, drug dealers, etc. so that there were no consequences for his actions. That wouldn’t teach him a thing, would it? I’d help him better himself and I’d give him the LEAST amount of help I possibly could – food, clothing, shelter (to an extent) because coming back from something awful isn’t a lasting accomplishment if it’s just handed to you. If you want it, you work toward it. You put your everything into it. If you’ve done that and you come up just a little short, Mom is going to help you make that goal, but don’t be looking for a fat envelope every time you get in trouble.
The fuck if I’ll contribute to the likes of an “affluenza teen”. I’m not saying he won’t be more comfortable, but he’ll be accountable. I have worked hard for the things that I have and damn it, so will he. So will my family, with ONE EXCEPTION: my Mom.
She can pretty much have anything she wants/needs because she’s worked hard for her entire life. As a single mom with zero support from my Dad, raising two daughters on her own, helping us when we needed it, often to the detriment of her own comfort. A true Grade A fuck yeah Mom. If she wants it, it’s hers.
Friends? I’ve had some that have helped me out of bad situations. I’ve had some that have simply given me things I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) give myself. For each of those people, I imagine myself finding a way to give that back to them. Whether it be paying off an outstanding bill, buying them a meaningful gift for no reason at all, or whatever it may be – something comparable to what they did for me. But when I say comparable, it’s going to involve WAY more than whatever their initial gesture was. Someone once gifted me plane tickets to go spend holidays with my family in Wisconsin. The initial outlay of cash to make that happen isn’t something I’d look to repay. I’d be looking to repay the incredible feeling that I had when I got those tickets. I’d be looking to do something for that person so that he would know, way past my words of gratitude, what he did for me that year. It might cost me $15, it might cost me $5,000. It’ll be grandest “Thank you” I can figure out, but it is not likely to be cash.
I also have friends who are extremely kind to pretty much everyone. They’re getting a little something too, because I get tired of waiting for karma to come reward those people who look out for others.
My last big gesture upon receiving the first check (because I’m taking the 30 years of payouts instead of one lump sum because I’m really smart like that) would be to go into a restaurant or bar and 1) buy shit for strangers for odd reasons. “I’ve got that dude’s beer because I hate his hat and would prefer he spend $10 on a new one.” “I’ll pay for her food because she looks like she hasn’t ever truly enjoyed a hamburger.” “A pitcher for that table because they’re talking about dildos in public.” And on and on and on. I would be ridiculous with my reasoning. “I like his shoelaces – FREE BEER!”
2) I’d tip every person who was working in the place at the time, as long as they smiled at me and said something genuine. I don’t have time for fake smiles and polite questions. I want genuine interactions with people, so if you’ve got it for me, you’re getting a tip. Servers, bus boys, chefs, bartenders, the guy holding the door who doesn’t work there but was being polite anyway, the band, the delivery guy – all of them. I’d tip them and I’d tip them well because smiles, kindness and genuine interactions rock my world. They turn me on and I’ll masturbate on those feelings for DAYS. Wait…
3) There is no three because I’d have that whole masturbation thing to get to.
Everyone else who would expect something from me or, at the very least, hope for something? Get in line. I’m sure I’d find friends that I didn’t realize I had (EYE ROLL). I’m certain people form my past would be in that line, trying to cash in on a memory. “Remember that time we went to see Metallica and I bought you that T-shirt?” Hell, I may even pay some of them to go away, but it’d be like $5 and a coupon for a free shake at Wendy’s or something.
All in all, I’d probably not change a whole lot about my life, other than making it easier and finally getting the things I’ve been working for.