the lottery?

I went to bed super early last night, honestly I think life is trying to kick my butt, and around 10:30 om the television pierced my consciousness. It wasn't enough to wake me all the way, but it disturbed me the way the bit I heard has been hanging in my brain.

They were going on and on about the lottery and the three folks that won.  I don't know about you, but I am concerned about the lottery.  Oh not for the gambling aspect or anything like that... I will occasionally buy a ticket or two for the heck of it.  What concerns me is the rate at which the jackpots keep growing so large.  It seems like just a month or so ago they were talking about the largest jackpot in history.  The sheer number of people that are buying tickets is frightening.

A few years back I worked with a young man that had an interesting take on lotteries.  He hated them!  He said that they were simply additional taxes on those least able to afford them. He believed very firmly, that they were designed to prey on the hopes and dreams of the downtrodden in order to create large sums of money for the states and government. 

We drive past a huge billboard every morning on our way to work.  The sole purpose is to inform folks what the current total is for the lottery.  I find it ironic that the only one of these I have ever seen is just as you are entering what is probably the poorest town in the entire state.  East St. Louis is struggling daily to survive, jobs barely exist there, the drugs, gangs and crime are almost out of control and the people that have loved her are holding on to her once great beauty by the tips of their fingers.  Yet the state has a huge billboard keeping the running tally at it's entrance. 

Maybe he was right... I don't see where the revenue goes.  It's been sold that it goes to schools and roads, yet we have schools closing, falling apart, with old technology and frankly Illinois has the most horrid roads, upkeep is sparse... at best.

Three people in this country are richer than some cities and municipalities.  For them I am happy, for now, but with all that money comes problems and stress the likes they have never known. 

I have no desire to be rich beyond sense.  Money brings too many problems that most of us cannot fathom.  Sure I won't say hubby and I don't play the what if game... but it always goes something like this... I would pay off my house and bills, maybe add on to the house a bit, or better yet finally buy a house in the country on a few acres, I would make sure my kids had homes and college paid for, and then... hmmm... well...

Yep that's right, then what?  For me, I would love to leave my job and be able to devote myself entirely to b'longa'b's... and if I won the lottery I would.  But why would I need that much money?  Sure each of my younger kids could use a reliable car and college paid for.  But millions??  What is the point.

It's a sad thing that lotteries are growing so quickly, that means so many people are needing it for hope, for a chance.  It isn't a silly game about dreaming any longer, for some it is about surviving.  It's so sad... this commentary on our world today.

I wish people could realize there are many "lotteries" in life, and most of them don't cost a dime.  It's in the friends we decide to surround ourselves with.  The love of our families.  The fact that we woke up this morning.  The strength and pride in ourselves to move forward. If you are going to gamble, shouldn't it be on those things?

For far too many people I fear the lottery is simply clinging to hope. Why?  It's big business for the folks that run it, but where is that money going? What changes is it making to people's lives? 

For me, hope is found in prayers, hard work and love of family and friends.  That is far more valuable...

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