Recently, I wrote a post that asked the question “What would you if you had a million dollars?”
A reader who identified herself as “KC” wrote an incredible response that I am sharing today (with her permission, of course).
… I will start out with our story. 10 years ago my husband and I were DEEP in debt. It took some very hard years and tough decisions (ie: no car in a northern city where it can snow any month of the year) and giving up some things that we thought were very important to us but… we are now out of debt and even better, we have that elusive 1 million dollars in assets and cash that you speak of.
What’s different? Nothing really.
Only a few lessons that I’ve learned:
If you didn’t tithe before, it’s unlikely that you will now. If you didn’t help your friends, it’s unlikely that you will now. If you don’t already save your money, it’s unlikely that you will now…
Basically I’m saying that unless you start to cultivate these things now, having a millions dollars isn’t going to change that. Your ‘mindset’ needs the change – and the money won’t change that.
I know some people who have nowhere near the million dollars that you speak of, and yet, they do all of these things and more.
With all due respect, you CAN take only $10 and gift it anonymously to someone who needs it more than you (and there is always someone in that position), you can tithe 10% of your income now, you can put money away for your child’s education now – even if it’s only $5, you CAN do all of these things.
Joe, I can understand the motivation behind your question, however I fear that it makes us forget what is truly possible right in front of us and in the situation that we are in right now.
When we were still climbing out of the deep pit of debt, some friends of ours found themselves in an even deeper pit. We helped them a little, anonymously, out of the little bit of money that we’d managed to stash away (leaving it almost at nil). But when I think back over the years, I recall that one over all of the other times that we have helped someone, that time felt as though we really made a difference to them and it made a difference to us.
Additionally, after achieving this momental moment, I’ve also learned something that I didn’t expect. When you ‘over-assist’ someone and they don’t have the joy of succeeding themselves, they don’t have the same joy in your gift. It feels like handcuffs to them. It creates an indebtedness that doesn’t belong in close relationships.
So… I guess that I am saying that a million dollars is not the be-all and end-all, it is simply one step on the many paths of being human.
All I could say when reading KC’s response was AB-SO-LUTE-LY and Amen sister!
What do you think?