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Mega Millions: The Lottery of Loss for Those Dying of Hunger

TheMindfulWord

by Jane Olivier

Don’t do it! That lottery ticket—that “Mega Millions” one … or the “Powerball” … or in fact, any other. Just don’t do it! Put your money back in your pocket. In the U.S., the chances of you winning the lottery are 1 in 146.1 million. Did you get that? One in 146.1 million.

And in the meantime, you lose. And even in winning, you lose. And you’re being about as “in the moment” as a shark in a fishbowl.

I have a friend in the U.S. who has to survive on his monthly social security payment of $1,243 per month. He beggars himself by staying in a place he cannot afford to upkeep, in a tiny village/town far from anything and needs to drive everywhere to buy whatever he needs at great fuel cost. He has applied for all sorts of grants from various  levels of government, yet at least twice a week he does the 15-mile round trip to buy his lottery tickets in the hope of one day winning something.

While I was visiting, he would ask me to go and buy them. I did a few times, then refused, trying to speak sense into his supposedly intelligent noggin’, trying to show him that the $50 or more he was spending on lottery tickets could be used on food. But I couldn’t get through his “if you don’t buy you can’t win” thought processing the fact that by not buying he was already winning.

Why did I refuse to do him this favour on my way back or to somewhere? I was perpetuating a whole bunch of things I’m totally opposed to and, as such, not living my truth. Among them:

  • Hope is a waste of energy.
  • I live in the now and this precludes hope of any kind.
  • I will not take hand-outs from a government—it makes you dependent.
  • We pay enough to governments in taxes on food, fuel, clothing—all sorts of things. Money that is  spent without our permission on things of which we do not approve—war, oil drilling, nuclear arms, salaries for incompetent leaders, bribery and corruption on a scale more massive than we could ever comprehend. Oh yes… and on insurance!
  • I will not allow my freedom to be compromised.
  • I will not throw money away when there are millions dying of starvation. Millions!

How was I perpetuating these? By buying these tickets for him, I was assisting him in his grant requirements, thus approving and applauding his actions.

And I don’t. Not in any way or means.

The number of lotteries worldwide is staggering, and the amount of money thrown at them even more so, in the hope of hitting the jackpot. And who do we think IS the jackpot? Correct, we are.

Listen carefully: WE ARE THE JACKPOT!

Not strictly true. YOU are, I will have nothing to do with this.

Allow me the opportunity to smash your delusions.

Of every $1 you spend, about $0.50 goes to prizes and $0.50 goes to the euphemistic “overheads” (administration and advertising) and to the state governments. So, of the leftover half of the money you have thrown away, 19.71 cents goes to pay off fixed prize winners—the little guys, the $2-$whatever—and the rest—about $0.30—goes into the jackpot. The more people bet and the more drawings that go by with no winner, the larger the jackpot gets. The only people getting paid are the government and the administrators.

And on the very, very minuscule chance that you may win something larger than the teller where you bought your ticket can supply, here is the palaver to go through to finally get your winnings. For prizes over $600, winners must fill out a claim form and present two forms of valid identification. Whoever is sending the payout, must be able to verify the winner’s identity and Social Security Number (SSN), therefore; at least one form of identification must specifically identify the SSN. The preferred forms of acceptable identification are a valid driver’s license with current address and a Social Security card.

Then there’s the fact that ALL lottery winnings are subject to Federal taxes; many smaller jurisdictions also levy taxes. The IRS requires at least 25 per cent of any gambling wins in excess of $5,000 be withheld. And here again, the net for a major winner is misleading. You win big? You pay big… to the government, as you will now find yourself in a much higher tax bracket than the withheld 25 per cent.

In order for a jackpot to reach $540,000,000, you out there… and you know who you are… have paid in $1.8 billion. That’s with a “B”! And we’re only talking one jackpot here—the Mega Millions which stood at $540 million in March this year.

The bait of easy money was thrown into extremely fertile waters and they netted YOU, and you remain caught in this web that you’re constantly spinning. You and hundreds of millions of others have gone without so you could win, now you have, so “thank you and pay us to hold you prisoner while we shake out your pockets again and again and again.”

And here is an uncomfortable statistic: Today almost 22,000 (when I last looked)—and a whopping 10.5 million so far this year—died of starvation. Not the silly “I’m dying of hunger” phrase dying, haphazardly thrown out when we’re an hour over our perceived feeding time. The real dead-never-to-walk-this-planet-never-to-touch-the-grass-with-bare-feet-or-smell-the-sea-breeze kind of dying.

$1.8 billion would have fed them for 171 years!

That is what your “hope” could have done. It could have created joy, relieved anguish and suffering, quietened a scream, whispered “thank you,” dried many tears. It could have put a smile on a whole lot of faces that will never smile again.

But it didn’t.

Look at the image below and let it burn a hole through your cornea into your soul. And the next time you go falsely “hoping,” remember this image and remember these words.

LOTTERY LOSS: A plea for those who are dying of hunger

You cannot say “I didn’t know.”

–TheMindfulWord.org

+++

ZenGardner.com

 

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Jane, Why don’t you go and drive off that pompous cliff you’re obviously perching on, and do us all a favor. I know plenty of people who buy lottery tickets – it’s their life, who am I to judge. Instead, why don’t you direct your godless energies toward the U.S. government, which spends over a $1 Billion (that’s B, billion) a day for its war machinery, which murders innocent men, women, and children.

  2. “Hope is a waste of energy.” – Reminds me of this:
    “…she wasted time wishing for thinges instead of working out how to make them happen.”
    – T. Pratchett, Witches abroad

    Namaste!

  3. That photo left me speechless, really, I had to stop and pause. It’s meaning is beyond words. I hope the photographer helped that small child. In a world full of greed, really there should be nothing like this…It’s time for the very rich to help out the very poor. Soon it will be 2013 it’s time for a shift, here are some idea from a great writer…

    It’s time to reflect on 2012. Did you overcome any fears? What worked for you? What did not? I’ve gathered bits of wisdom that you may like to incorporate into your life for a happy and more loving new year. I encourage you to bet on the positive, be fearless, and expect the best in 2013.

    Don’t be afraid to say “No, that’s not going to work for me.” Don’t offer an excuse.
    Smile for no reason. Make it a practice to look people in the eye and smile.
    Learn how to receive. Just say, “thank you!”
    Learn how to give. Begin now, especially if you think you don’t have enough.
    Let go of the need to be right. Allow the other person to have the last word.
    Tell others how you feel. Say “I love you, thank you, and I appreciate you,” often.
    Don’t live with regret. Learn to apologize. Take you ego out of the need to win.
    Allow yourself to fail. Regroup. Try again. Eventually you will succeed.
    Eat mindfully. Give thanks for your food. Chew each bite. Pause in between bites.
    Know that you are good enough, you do enough, and you have enough.
    Focus on one task at a time. Stay present. Then move on to the next task.
    Know that you are responsible for everything that’s right and wrong in your world. Refuse to blame.
    Send thank you cards the old fashioned way. It’s inexpensive, meaningful, and rare.
    Share what you have with those around you. Act your way into being generous.
    Go the extra mile. It’s a good and honest way to stand out from the crowd.
    Uplift others when they are down. Be compassionate. Take a walk in somebody else’s shoes.
    Be courageous. If you have something important and difficult to say, do it face to face.
    Do what you were born to do. The world needs your voice.
    Rethink your problems. Most of the problems we think we have are only minor inconveniences.
    Make deliberate, loving choices. Take the high road. Always.
    Recognize your projections. Your problems are never about someone else. It’s always about you.
    Hire a coach. Dare to follow up on what you need to do to change.
    Don’t take things personally. What other people do is about them. How you react is about you.
    Fire yourself up. Be persistent and passionate.
    Enjoy chocolate. Deprivation never works. Enjoy one small piece of expensive candy and savor.
    In spite of setbacks stay the course. Trust yourself. make adjustments. Grow on.
    Forgive your parents. Forgive yourself. Forgive everyone in between. Practice forgiveness daily.
    Put wisdom into action. Be brave, fearless and unstoppable.
    Practice promise-keeping. Write down what you promise others. Your integrity is a big part of this.
    Laugh at your petty fears and share your talents with the world.
    Change the negative stories you repeat to yourself. Do the work. This is life changing.
    Let go of doubt. Live full-out and choose to be wildly successful.
    Practice gratitude. Want prosperity. Being grateful for what you have is the quickest way to feel it.
    Don’t drag yourself though life. You were born with wings. Learn to fly!
    Agree to disagree. Others are entitled to their own opinions. Don’t make others wrong. Instead, listen.
    Have the courage to be extraordinary. Don’t ever hold back your gifts.
    Be willing to compromise. Practice meeting other people in the middle. It’s a peaceful way to live.
    Start where you are with what you have. Jump in and keep moving.
    Love toxic people from a distance. Create boundaries and send prayers, blessings, and good thoughts.
    Let go of the need to do it perfectly.
    Remain true to your dreams and visions. You have one life. Be bold enough to live it like you wish.
    Focus on your talents, focus on the gifts you have to give. Focus on the love you want to share.
    Eliminate all forms of negative media from your life. Don’t allow yourself to be controlled by fear.
    Practice having faith in yourself. Choose to feel confident. Visualize your success.
    Live the life you’ve imagined. Work hard. Live simply. Be adventurous. Serve others. Have fun.
    Let go of striving, begging, pushing, and shoving.
    Be true to yourself. Don’t try to be someone or something that you are not. Own your uniqueness.
    Be brave. Connect from your heart.
    Embrace the present. Life is now. Heal your past. Don’t fear your future. Notice you are OK right now.
    Let go of guilt and shame. You are OK. Let that sink into your cells.
    Just begin. Create a vision. Make a plan. Take a small step in the right direction. Continue until you close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
    Recognize how great you are. Give yourself the praise and credit you want from someone else.
    Give thanks in advance. Expect the best. Know that things will work out. Be grateful now.
    When life is difficult remember this too shall pass. It always has and always will.
    Collaborate with others. You don’t have to go through life alone. Partner-up and cut your work in half.
    Practice allowing. Release all emotional desperation and attachment to your goals.
    Learn to admit, “I don’t know.” Become comfortable with not having all of the answers. It leaves you room to grow.
    Point out what is right and good in people.
    Find something to believe in. Believe in love. Believe in the good of all. Believe in yourself.
    Shift your perception away from what makes you feel down to things that make you feel good.
    Learn how to cook. One of the quickest ways to save money is to cook and eat at home.
    You are powerful. You are creative. Decide what you want your future to be.
    Dare to be your best. Take the time to do things right. Put in your best effort. You’ll have less regrets.
    Remember it’s your privilege to change your mind.
    Take risks. Do what scares you. Don’t be afraid to fail. You’ll see the world in a different light.
    Bless difficult people and situations with love.
    See beauty in world. Spend time in nature. Notice kind people. Enjoy life.
    Know that you choose how to interpret the people and events in your life. You give them all the meaning they have for you.
    Celebrate what’s right with the world. Look for people doing the right thing. Speak well of life.
    Choose to focus on love thoughts rather than attack thoughts.
    Do something brilliant every day. You are smart. Own it and do great things.
    Create a joy and excitement journal. Do more of what you love.
    Encourage others. A kind word or a kind deed aimed at helping others get ahead, goes along way.
    Don’t spend time with people you don’t enjoy. Don’t compromise your personal happiness.
    Make a difference. Do something meaningful. Leave a legacy.
    If you want to be happy, give up what makes you unhappy.
    Continue to learn something new. If you want your life to be different, learn and do something different.
    Discover and celebrate what you have in common with others. You will increase the love in your relationships.
    Mentor someone. Every successful person has received help. Pay it forward.
    Give up excuses. They make you lazy.
    Learn to be frugal. Stop recreational spending. Waste not.
    Celebrate life even when it’s difficult and frustrating.
    Spend time with children and the elderly. It will show the depth of your character. Life isn’t about you.
    Stop doing the things you don’t enjoy doing.
    Be honest about your taxes. Cheating on your taxes is about scarcity, dishonesty, and entitlement.
    Accept your abundance and prosperity and share it with others.
    Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day. It’s about energy. It’s about flow.
    Without guilt, give to yourself first.
    Don’t bet against yourself. Believe in yourself. Own your power. Strut your stuff. Claim your dream.
    Go out on a limb. Risk. Dare. Leap. Jump. Be brave. Breathe. Break a rule. Have fun. Do the unexpected.
    Take calm mini breaks throughout your day.
    Be creative. Paint. Draw. Take a photo a day. Plant a garden. Sing. Act. Dance. Dream.
    See the world as plotting to do you good today.
    Don’t believe your own thoughts. Learn to think well of yourself. Everyday. Own your inner light.
    Repeat Louise Hay’s mantra throughout your day. “Life loves me.
    When you believe you can handle anything, you’ll be willing to take more calculated risks.
    Look for your lessons in difficult situations. Learn them and move on.
    Become aware of the multitude of choices you make everyday. Choose wisely.
    Be brave. Be strong. Dance on.
    Learn to attract more love into your life.
    Love. Begin with loving intentions. Speak loving words. Take loving action. Attract more love into your life.
    http://theboldlife.com/

  4. Ouch, that stings quite a bit. I never really thought of it like that. I highly doubt the big winner this time around will ever take notice of a picture like this. Self absorbed as we can be. It is an unbelievable injustice purpetrated on all of humanity. How can we just sit back and watch? I know there are people out there trying to make a difference, but it isn’t enough. Somehow the tipping point seems too far out of reach. The controllers have done a marvelous job of frigging everything up. I hope they are happy. By the way,the odds of winning seem astronomical enough. What are the odds that these big winners will be broke in ten years?

    • Very sad story. He won the Pulitzer Prize for the photo and when he got the reward they asked him if he helped the child…and he hadn’t. Couldn’t live with the public shame and guilt apparently. Very sad comment on humanity.

      • Wow. What a poor reflection of us that is. He didnt help that child. In a small way that is all of us. How many times have you not helped someone?

        I saw a post on fb lastnight. It was a young girl looking for a compliment. I rolled my internal eyes and moved on.
        Today I saw it again but I felt different. I felt like I had to say something. So I told her that she was beautiful but that knowing it for herself was the real importance. I playfully added that i told myself I was beautful so many times that my husband does it daily for me.
        I feel better that I posted something. a lot better than I felt about disliking the post. The only thing that changed was my perception.

        • Twelve – Gr8 story. Wonderful example. Yes, it’s heartbreaking and it is all of us. We got very emotional talking about that picture and the story behind it this morning and what that story signifies. Poor man was incapacitated to react for whatever reason. We’re awakening out of slumber now and responding consciously is our call of duty. It’s quite magnificent, as it’s the Universe rediscovering itself through us. But we have to yield to it to discover its wonder and share that love with those we come across, however it manifests. We’ll learn as we go, but it truly is a way of life we’re supposed to live, and most of these problems plaguing humanity would/will dissolve. Broad statement, but it’s true. Much love, Zen

          • So true and the internal need for us to break away from this ugliness is our destiny. Too bad this man couldnt reconcile the two sides.
            The Guy who created the Kony 2012 video, Jason Russell, had a huge breakdown when he was forced to face that he was being applauded on one side while being despised on the other because the PTB were manipulating the issue for more violence.
            He seems differnt now, at peace. That is where we all need to go. We have to just let go and break away from this. No matter how much we try this way is never going to work. We need a rebirth and a fresh start only this time we have the wisdom to do it right.

  5. Lotteries are first and foremost a Stupid Tax. Those that win the lottery discover that great personal difficulty comes to them from out of left field. It is a form of balancing the lottery win.It does not improve your life and this carrot, turns out to be a stick.

  6. Zen,
    Where do you find your photos and illustrations? They are usually visually stunning and pointed. I googled the history of the usage of “hope” because one of the things that drives me nuts that my husband does is constantly say he “hopes” something will come about, usually that something that requires us making a decision and working toward. This concept of hoping says to me, I don’t plan on doing anything about it, but I do wish it would happen. Ironically, I found this in Wikipedia:
    Hope can first be seen in ancient Greek mythology with the story of Zeus and Prometheus. Prometheus stole fire from the god Zeus, which infuriated the supreme god. In turn, Zeus created a box that contained all manners of evil, unbeknownst to the receiver of the box. Pandora opened the box after being warned not to, and those evils were released into the world; hope, which lay at the bottom of the box, remained. This is the beginning of the tale of hope.[10]
    [edit]
    They imply that hope is a good thing left behind when evil escapes, but my take on this is that hope is evil. It disconnects you from your own capabilities. Evil, indeed.

    • There’s plenty of image features on search engines. The key is asking the right questions. ;;))
      Great points about the hope issue…I wrote something about that con job on beliefs…I’ll answer when I find it…hugs

  7. Could just maybe the problem be that your friend is an IDIOT? I don’t mean that in a cruel way, they may just be ignorant. I understand the Lottery plays to the lowest common denominator and the poor and unintelligent do fall pray to their “advertising” antics.

  8. The picture at the top is beyond heartbreaking, and it reminds me how ruthless journalism can be – always after the ‘money shot’ in the interests of career advancement. But it’s harsh to link a picture of a dying child and waiting vulture to somebody with no bad intention, whose only crime seems to be purchasing a Lottery ticket and maybe poor financial management skills.

    It sounds like Jane would be better off spending more time with people who don’t frustrate her so – there appears to be a mismatch of energies.

  9. The tragedy is, the winners are all mere actors of the elite. No American gets the money. Its that rigged, most of the time, when high amounts are involved.
    Last time, it was a women who claimed the lottery but she was a hoax, this time a guy in Facebook claims he has won the lottery, latter found out to be a hoax. People, This is classic Illuminati trick. Distraction and pre-emtive PSY-OP. They do this to confuse you. Now they willl put up some actors on show and say he won it. Iif they can rig US elections, this is child play for them. Please do not buy lottery. Its a scam from top to bottom. The odds are not 1 in a million more like 1 in a ZERO. There are no winners only actors of the elite

  10. I have read all the comments and thank you for them.

    When I write, it is not from some airy loft looking down from a great distance on world happenings and then making judgment calls. I live, breathe and walk every word of my talk.

    I have travelled and lived in over 50 countries, volunteering wherever I am wherever I can.

    I’ve pulled children out of places too evil to imagine. I’ve sat with dying old ones just holding their hands. I’ve been summoned by village chiefs to come and rescue children but those keeping them in chains outside wouldn’t let them go. I’ve stood on the slopes of volcanoes helping villagers plant potatoes to earn a pittance keeping one eye on their babies threatening to roll downhill. I tried to rescue 73 children from an orphanage that was keeping them hungry, sick and in rags to solicit money from donors, but couldn’t. I have negotiated with the owners of brick-making factories to give me a space to teach the children in the hours they weren’t working so they could stay with their families (they agreed). I have gone searching for stolen children and found them a month later, then spent months comforting and de-traumatizing them. I have comforted sobbing children brought to me whose parents had died the month before.

    My friends doing medical volunteering in faraway villages were threatened, beaten and raped because, in desperation, they dared to complain when their supplies were being stolen to be sold back to them. I have a friend who takes care of HIV?AIDS infected adults and children, who personally buries more people in a month than most funeral parlours do in a year.

    I have fought with corrupt government officials and police and agencies and made myself such a monumental pain in the butt in an attempt to stop child trafficking and alleviate poverty that I have a price of $250 on my head in one country. Not much? In a country where that equates to 8 months of survival for a family, it’s a great incentive.

    I have fed, clothed, housed and cared for, and in any way I could, helped those destitute written about and photographed.

    I taught myself not to cry because I knew if I started, I would never stop again. I understand the mind of the photographer who committed suicide, because sometimes the things you see paralyze you and it is only afterwards that you think of what you could have done, but didn’t and it stays with you forever.

    I write from a bleeding heart and unshed tears for those I couldn’t save, and immense gratitude for those I could.

    And if the words touch anyone in any way, it makes the writing worthwhile.

    • Zen, this really got people thinking, what great comments…Beautiful ideed. What great posts, so profound, maybe the photographer really didnt go down that way….Bless them that help others, may the grace that comes from love be shared with more love. In a world full hate, be love it will prevail.

    • Great response Jane!

      It is sad that you have to respond to any negative comments directed at you personally.

      If some of the people replying have only anger in their veins after reading an article and feel they have to go on attack because they did not agree with what they read- There is something out of balance with them.

      I read posts here that I do not agree with and usually pass it up. If I do comment, it is directed towards the basis of the post- Not the individual who wrote it.

      Thank Goodness the Jerks are Few and Far between.

  11. I read that the photographer of the starving child was told in advance by government representatives that he could not help the child.

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