Rags to riches to rags. Are you a good steward of what you are given?

@LCecelia (1124)
United States
September 17, 2007 7:03pm CST
It is written that many people who win the lottery become poor within a short time after they've won millions. Why do you think that is? I've seen that happen with people who have struggled all their lives to make ends meet, yet once they'd received a considerable sum of money they forgot all they had learned when they didn't have much money and have gone back to struggling to make ends meet. What about you, are you a good steward of what the Lord has given to you? Do you think this can't happen to you? Do you think that you won't forget all the lessons you'd learnt in your time of struggles?
3 people like this
7 responses
@derek_a (10902)
18 Sep 07
I think by nature, human beings value much more what they have created, rather than what they have been given. I used to run self-development groups and the most important thing to ALL participants (and over the years there were several hundred) was that they made some sort of difference to their own world. That meant, what they had created was far more valuable than anything that came for nothing. That is why, I believe, some big lottery winners don't change anything about where/how they work. Some may change their cars or move to a better house, but changes with these people are usually quite modest. The others that go for mansions and stretch limos, soon become discontent for various reasons. I buy a lottery ticket each week, but if I had a big win, I would be looking how I could make a difference with the money. My nature is to help and support people, so undoubtedly, that is where I would be looking to make a difference. Yes I would get things to make things easier for myself and family, but I am sure it would be modest :-)
1 person likes this
@LCecelia (1124)
• United States
18 Sep 07
I'm thinking that I'd do the same. By nature I'm not materialistic. When asked that age old question, "If money was no object, what would you do?" I'm clueles. I think that I'd get a slightly larger house to house all the "stuff" I've accummulated through my stint as an eBay seller. But more and more I'm thinking I should just get rid of the stuff. Two weeks ago I gave away quite a bit. Going back to the bigger house, I've been thinking about that again as I have a niece who is in a bad situation and needs assistance. Maybe a bigger house for that reason is not such a selfish thing. Ya think?
1 person likes this
@derek_a (10902)
19 Sep 07
No I don't think a bigger house is selfish.. I also tend to say "what is selfish?" And I come up with the answer - "Isn't everything selfish?" For instance, people give to charity and help the worse-off than themselves. I got to thinking - do they do it because it makes them feel good? So that would make selflessness, selfish? If they had say a raging toothache every time they gave to someone, would they still do it? Isn't it love thy neighbour AS THYSELF? As a Zen practitioner I aspire to see self and other as one. :-)
@LCecelia (1124)
• United States
19 Sep 07
Your arguement is well argued. :-) Yes, if you do think about it in those terms everything we do may be considered selfish.
1 person likes this
@Perry2007 (2229)
• Philippines
21 Sep 07
This happened to me, however, its not that you forget the lessons you learn, it simply is somethign that perhaps becomes a habit cycle. If ther is anything like that.
@LCecelia (1124)
• United States
25 Sep 07
I know what you mean. One day you decide to buy something that you may not really need and the next time it gets easier to rationalize the purchase and then the cycle begins.
@wisedragon (2330)
• Philippines
18 Sep 07
You asked "Why do you think that is?" It's a phenomenon called financial illiteracy. Most people don't know anything about money, its power, how it works, how to make it work for you. We think all learning comes from school. The truth is, school only teaches us 10% of everything we need to know. And it certainly doesn't teach us anything about money. Why? Because the teachers themselves are probably financially illiterate, burdened by debt, etc. We think financial education comes from home. But parents themselves are probably financially illiterate, burdened by debt, etc. So when a lottery winner suddenly has lots of money, he basically doesn't know what to do with it. So he spends it and within one year he's poorer than he was before he won the lottery.
@LCecelia (1124)
• United States
19 Sep 07
How right you are!! I count myself as one of the misinformed. I watched a program on PBS the other day on this very same subject. Suze Orman was the speaker. It got me thinking, so much so that I actually built a Squidoo lens promoting her materials. Smart? :-)
@cutepenguin (6457)
• Canada
18 Sep 07
I don't think I could forget, basically because I have been struggling for quite a while, and I honestly believe that we have learned our lesson.
@LCecelia (1124)
• United States
19 Sep 07
The longer we struggle the more firm is our decision that we will not go through those times again, baring unforseen occurrances. Another thought, it occurred to me that the ones who go from rags to riches to rags may sometimes be those who though, they were poor didn't have to "struggle." I mean, for instance some in the welfare system comes to mind. I don't mean to generalize I'm just making a reference.
@Sharon38 (1916)
• Jamaica
18 Sep 07
I wont forget becuase I am a single parent and I know how hard it was for my mother and I know how hard it is for me. Jamaicans have a nature to show off and I beleive that is wha happenned to those people though not Jamaicans. I would help those who need help in my church and set up a trust for my daughter. Last week a coworker and I were having a discussion that poverty is a crime because things that you are supposed to have for your comfort being poor does not afford you those luxuries. I definitely would not forget!
@LCecelia (1124)
• United States
19 Sep 07
I'm from Jamaica too! :-) Well I live in the states now. It is true what you say about Jamaicans and many people who knew how it was to stretch a dollar. My favorite story of Jamaica and it is kind of a sad one as well, happened on my last visit to Jamaica. My cousin's wife runs a small shop there. One day I was hanging out with her in the store when a lady came in to make some purchases. I think she got the bare essentials, like bread, milk and maybe rice and maybe a few other things. She gave my cousin a $100 bill and asked if there would be any change left over for her to get a soft drink. It just hurt my heart...even today. I complain that I don't have enough, yet I've seen first hand people who really DON'T have enough. :-(
@raijin (10373)
• Philippines
18 Sep 07
I think once a person possesses a huge amount of money, they already forget the way they were before. Their mind gets easily corrupted, because they forget to give thank the Mighty One for the blessings they received. And without His guidance, all the things they enjoyed will again be lost. As for me and my family, we came from poor to the average now. We could've been rich if we just wanted to, but we prefer to share the blessings instead of keeping them for ourselves. Also, we never forget how God blesses us each day.
@LCecelia (1124)
• United States
19 Sep 07
Thats awesome. :-) If only more of us thought that way...
• Malaysia
18 Sep 07
I will never forget my previous hardship and hard earn and definitely and firmly believed that I won't be like that such people. Because on hardship time I have learned about financial management. The cashflow, balance sheet and profit & loss. And don't tell people for what we have and own. I mean avoid public figure and let the story speaks itself. To the poor people, we talk about poor matters AND to the rich people, we talk about how to be richer. :::michael:::*
@LCecelia (1124)
• United States
19 Sep 07
Speaking out of both sides of our mouth. :-) For some people lessons learned in hard times do stick. For others........