Do we ever run out of wishes, particularly on Christmas? If you say “No,” I’m with you. But if you say “Yes,” consider pondering on that thought a while longer.
Wishing for something never goes out of season, style or age. However young or old, rich or poor, successful, lucky, gifted, blessed or not we are, there’s always something else we want to have or wish for as long as we live. Life always leaves us something to be desired. It’s our raison d’etre, without which our life is meaningless.
When we’re poor, we wish for wealth in order to be happy or happier. If we could have the dream house, the luxury car, all the money we need to go places and buy the things we want plus good health to enjoy them, we think our life would be complete and happy and there would be nothing else to wish for. Until of course we actually got what we wished for and realized that money, success or fame can’t really buy us all the happiness in the world. Our insatiable nature finds out sooner or later that there’s another void that must be filled. And on it goes.
Unable to find happiness and satisfaction in fame and fortune, some people turn to drugs while others to death. Though Kurt Cobain was a troubled kid before he became the famous rock icon of the 90s for his band Nirvana, our thinking would be that having found fame and fortune, a wife he dearly loved and a beautiful child, he could muster the strength and willpower to conquer his demons but he could not or did not. Only 27 years old, he was found dead in his home with a bullet in his head just shortly after he recovered from his first suicide attempt.
Barely 31, Sylvia Plath, a talented American poet and novelist and the first person to win a posthumous Pulitzer Prize, killed herself after failing to win back her husband. Her life was made into a Hollywood movie with Gwyneth Paltrow portraying Sylvia.
Long Island resident and computer software high flyer ReiJane Huai committed suicide on the front lawn of his $2.5 million home after resigning his position as President and CEO of FalconStor following a lawsuit filed against him.
True, a whole lot more very wealthy people still choose life over death and bask in their fame and fortune. But this is not to say they are completely happy. Believe it or not, the more they see their money growing, the more they feel the compulsion to see it grow even faster. It’s like an addiction that keeps feeding itself yet never getting the ultimate satisfaction. Rich couples who once lived peacefully on a modest income find themselves arguing and disagreeing more over money. The pressure of keeping up with Joneses also makes life stressful even for wealthy people and sometimes it drives them over the edge.
Incidentally, the Mega Million jackpot failed to produce a winner in last Friday, December 13th drawing, raising the pot to $550 million on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Paula Otto, the Virginia Lottery’s executive director and Mega Millions’ lead director, told The Associated Press early Saturday that she expects the amount to rise even higher before the drawing. It could approach or surpass the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever claimed, $656 million in March 2012. The odds of a person winning the jackpot is about 1 to 259 million but not enough to deter people from buying into this chance of a lifetime, after all, it only takes $1 to buy that chance. It could be anybody’s luck – yours or mine. But yes, it’s all about luck.
Citing the woes that plagued a number of past Lotto winners, a TV reporter asked a past winner if he would still have preferred to win. The Lotto winner’s response was swift and sure, “Are you kidding me? Of course, I still prefer to win.”
It’s a given. People would rather be rich and not completely happy than be poor and miserable. Does anyone still doubt that? I know I’d take my chance on wealth anytime, convinced just like the rest, that I can put it to good use and help a lot of people. If I get lonely every once in a while, it’s a problem I’ll be happy to take on over feeling hungry and deprived most of the time. Hitting the Lotto jackpot is a fleeting dream that lasts only a few days till the next drawing but an uplifting thought nevertheless. Besides, it may not be free but $1 for a grandiose dream isn’t a bad investment at all.
Finding joy in giving
Not all wealthy people are greedy and selfish. Some who have too much to give have turned into philanthropists, finding happiness in being able to make a difference in other people’s lives. Billionaires like Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates make their money work to change the lives of peoples all over the world. Oprah Winfrey founded a school for black girls in South Africa and gave the opportunity of a lifetime to them who have been deprived of that chance for decades. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have been famous for their philanthropy. Former presidents found their calling in their individual charities – former presidents Jimmy Carter in Habitat for Humanity, Bill Clinton in his Global Initiative. Just recently, Justin Bieber flew in to Tacloban and performed in a free concert for the kids of Tacloban who had been victims of typhoon Yolanda. He’s also raising funds for them by asking his followers to donate to the cause.
While writing this article, I stumbled upon a link to the article by Ron Estur about a Filipina Cinderella story in Japan who, having found success and fortune in “the island famous for the rising sun,” is giving back to her people in a truly inspiring way. Her name is Abby Watabe from Tarlac who has known poverty early in life. Born to a laundry woman and a carpenter, she learned to fend for herself by picking garbage when she was a child. To help her family, she decided to go to Japan as an entertainer, where she met her Japanese husband, a very rich man who also has a good heart. Abby credits him for the woman she has turned out to be – confident, entrepreneurial, and giving. He sent her to school but she didn’t stop there.
Inspired by her husband who taught her to set an example to her fellow Filipinos in Japan so they would earn his people’s respect, she continues to explore other avenues to better her self – training for personality development, learning etiquette and acquiring business skills and knowledge so she can better manage their businesses.
“He did not just love me,” Abby said of her husband. “…he loves the whole Philippines.” She narrated how in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda, her husband readily placed donation boxes in all 135 branches of their business and asked her to send relief goods to the Philippines and build classrooms in Tarlac. His philosophy is to treat people well and give them a chance, regardless of who they are for you’ll never know when one day they’ll turn out to be even richer than you.
A Christmas wish or two
With everything about this world seemingly skewed, Christmas offers a good reason to feel good. For one, people make an effort to be kind, generous and forgiving during this season. So, I thought it’s the best time to make a wish or two.
I wish that God would make way for all the good people, His believers who are of pure hearts and truly compassionate and kind to be in control of the earth. If the good people govern, make laws and implement them, men will live in harmony and prosperity. Greed will take a back seat and there will be genuine peace on earth and goodwill to men.
Finally, I wish and pray that the love of Jesus Christ reign in the hearts of men forever, this way, everybody will live happily on earth as we’ll all do in heaven.
A blessed Christmas and a very healthy and happy New Year to all!