Friday, November 9, 2012

Winning The Lottery Will Help You Live Longer

A friend of mine told me that people were lined-up 10-deep at her news agency waiting to get their hands on what they hoped would be the winning ticket in a $112 million Lotto. We're told that more than one-in-three people in The Land of Oz invested their hard-earned for a chance to be a winner.
While most people know that money alone will not bring happiness, the turnout to win 112 million dollars seems to suggest that, for most people, possessing enough money is more appealing than the alternative. Apparently, most agree with Mae West's observation: 'I've been rich and I've been poor. And rich is better'. Or, perhaps Spike Milligan struck a chord when he said, 'All I ask is the chance to prove that money can't make me happy'.
The eighteenth-century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau drew attention to what most of us have come to realise: wealth is not a question of having lots of many; it's about having what you want. And John Ruskin (1819-1900) challenged the central idea of his age (that there was something admirable about being rich), by advocating a different kind of wealth-defined in terms of kindness, intelligence, sensitivity, and godliness.
Money may not be able to buy happiness or love (according to the Beatles, that is), but it (money) can buy a better life: rich people do live longer than poor people.
Research suggests that people on higher incomes are happier and tend to live longer than those on low incomes. Even when the source of wealth is a lottery win, increased longevity and life quality can be expected. A survey of lottery winners indicated that money, by itself, does indeed buy weeks, months, even years of extra life.
It's the relationship between money and other things that's the key issue; to balance what we really need for ourselves with what we can do for others. (Could this be the reason why many Lotto-winners opt to share their winnings?) More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle remarked that people had been destroyed by their money, but said that it was difficult, if not impossible, to do fine deeds without any resources. Epicurus alerted us to the difficulty of achieving a balance among competing attractions. And the Franciscan Friar Justin Belitz emphasised the need for balance among what he called the 7Fs-Finance, Friends, Fun, Faith, Fitness, Family, and Formal and informal education. He indicated that he understood what the ancients and others have been saying for centuries: wealth is more than money.
Whether or not you've won or shared-in the $112 million, try to keep everything in context. Even though you may live longer, if you're a winner, J. Paul Getty's said, 'If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars'.