Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena
unclehyena

Lottery Dialog

My brother Tim is an entrepreneur and a rocket scientist. He is smart, and focused, and successful, and most of the time I am very, very proud of him.

I, on the other hand, am a train wreck. I am rumored to be smart, but I have the focus of a mud puddle, and my career path has been more of a meander, driven by luck, whim, and the need to keep depression at bay.

Tonight, apparently inspired by the current billion-and-a-half PowerBall mania, he decided to get a bit preachy on FaceBook, and pushed my buttons. I responded, because I NEEDED to. I thought the dialog was worth recording.

/////

Tim:

I don't play the lottery. I don't make this choice for moral or mathematical reasons. I don't play because I have absolutely no interest in winning. For me, winning the big jackpot would just be an unwelcome disruption in the fabric of life. Relationships would change, values would change, and any sense of accomplishment for whatever I make of my life would be negated. After all: "Anybody could do what that guy does if they won the Powerball." No. It is not for me. If I am ever to achieve riches, it will have to be through hard work, saving, investing, trying things, making some mistakes, learning and persevering. Maybe my thinking is old-fashioned, but to me it just seems to be a more satisfying path.


Paul:

You made a comment like this in the parent's living room about 30 years ago, and it baffled me. Now, it makes me feel like punching you. I wouldn't, but I certainly want to. I don't think your sentiments are old fashioned, I think that they are arrogant, vain, and insensitive as hell.

Do you have any idea what a gift it is to HAVE a goal in your life? No, because you have never been lost. You have had the combination of talent and mental health that make this kind of arrogance and vanity possible. Me, I haven't had the luxury of caring what other people thought of me for a LONG time; I have been too busy trying to survive. I learned a long time ago that having an open lottery ticket in my pocket made it difficult to think about suicide out of financial desperation, and I made sure that I always had that open ticket.

You are winning the game of life; I congratulate you, and respect you for that. But my own game was irrevocably lost a long time ago, and the occasional lottery ticket gives me a much needed illusion of hope that I might someday be free of despair.

/////

Uncle Hyena
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