The Lottery was the big topic on Thursday morning and I was doing Corporate Training for a business here in OKC. The participants were even talking about it as I walked in the door. The payout of 1.2 Billion dollars was just inconceivable to me and it reminded me of this decision making example. On the way to training, I was listening to a Christian radio station. It really irritated me that they were ALSO talking about the lottery in the morning. For some reason, I continued to listen and they did something very interesting: They interviewed “regular Joe’s” on the street about what they would do if they won the Lottery. Their answers were pretty much the expected: buy a new car, a new house, etc. One man even said that he would buy a yacht. When the interviewer asked why, he answered “why not?!”
Then they interviewed HOMELESS people. They went out and asked what they would do if they won. The answers got me really choked up! One man said that he would first feed as many people as he could – like a big party for all who were on the street. Then he said he would donate money to some of the organizations that were out there feeding other people like him. He would of course, buy a home and get himself off the street so he could help others get homes to do the same.
The next man said that he would instantly help some of his friends who were living on the streets. He said that most of his money would be donated to the churches that were down in that area who had helped him personally. When the interviewer asked him if he would buy a yacht, he said “What? Why would I do that? A yacht never helped nobody.”
I wanted to talk about this because problem solving and how we make decisions are not done in a vacuum. There are outside influences that shape each and every decision we make. For example, I had everything taken away from me when we moved to the United States – not because my parents were mean, but only because we were moving across continents and could only bring 6 suitcases with us! It was quite terrible for a girl of 10. Today, I still have a problem letting go of stuff. The only thing that saves me is JESUS telling us to not store things on earth but to store up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20).
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal…
In addition, I am blessed by the knowledge that all things come to me from God and that I need to give them away. Giving gifts is something that I DO love, so I will accumulate and then one day, go to the Veterans Administration or Cancer Center and give them 20 new crocheted hats or jewelry or pajamas and socks or something like that.
There are reasons deeper than the workplace (or church or soccer team) that can come into play. I think we have to be mindful of that when we see others having control issues or when they hold on to a project or concept and even get angry when you suggest any type of change! It doesn’t always have to revolve around you – they may not be angry or upset at you, but at what that decision may represent for them (letting go of control, insecurity in their personality, or even abuse in the past).
I think there’s a great lesson to be learned in all this – when you make decisions, you can either choose to look at them as they impact you OR you can choose to look out first and see how they impact others.