The other day, my 16 year old grandson Mac and I were daydreaming together about what we would each do if we happened to win our local lottery. I don’t even know how much money it is but we were assuming at least $20 million would be coming our way, after taxes, etc.
(I mean, if you are daydreaming, you can make up any number want, right? So, $20 million it was!)
Okay, so we were in dreamland, completely. I say that because I am NEVER going to win the lottery! I know that because I NEVER buy lottery tickets!!
Mac already had plans for his money. He had a long list of parts he wanted to get for his computer. And he is a new driver, so a flashy car would be at the top of his list. Maybe an apartment too, when he turns 18 of course.
But in the long run, he had a little trouble spending all his money. Even after taking all his friends out to dinner numerous times and going to every movie he could think of.
It is actually hard to buy enough things to spend $20 million, he discovered. Who knew?!!!
Now my list was completely different. (And here we discover the difference between a person at the beginning of their life and a person at the end of their life) I wasn’t so much interested in getting “things”. I find they don’t last very long or they lose their charm after time.
I was interested in experiences. I decided I would take all the grandchildren on trips, to places they had never been. I wanted them to see new views, taste new foods, hear new languages, experience new cultures and realize that people all over the world are different in many ways and yet the same in basic ways.
Things are forgotten. Experiences are lifetime treasures. They can change us forever and provide us with wisdom and profound understanding.
Things can become boring and broken. Experiences can be indescribable and remain intact in our memories for a lifetime.
Things can be replaced easily. Experiences are irreplaceable. They are gifts of time, energy and love.
Next I decided I would give each child a gift of education unique to that child. One child would go to art school. One child would go a computer school. One child I know, wants to get a Real Estate license, etc.
I hope they each appreciate this gift because anything you learn, you have in your head. No one can take that from you. You don’t have to rely on anyone else. You own that knowledge forever! It’s yours!
Education is a gift like nothing else. I would spend whatever it takes to get all my grandchildren educated and independent. What would that cost?
But how happy would I be? To have six well educated, well travelled, maybe multilingual, tolerant, active grandchildren with possibly multi-ethnic friends and acquaintences, who wouldn’t be happy?!!!
And it would only cost $20 million!!!!!!