I was having a discussion with a friend recently, and we were toying with the idea of what we would do if we won the lottery. What would we do if all of a sudden we went from our typical paycheck-to-paycheck lives to having more money than we could spend in a single day?
It’s always a fun question to imagine the answer to. Maybe we would be generous, and donate a huge chunk of it to charity. Maybe we would make someone’s dreams come true, and give them what they might not have ever had an opportunity to have without our help. Maybe we would take care of ourselves, our families, our friends, and take a good long vacation somewhere exotic.
Most people I’ve had this conversation with want to believe that winning the lottery wouldn’t change them. I don’t buy it (no pun intended). I think it would absolutely change a person. I know that it would certainly change me.
An old Zen proverb says, “Change is neither good nor bad; it simply is.”
I believe it is our reaction to change that determines if the change is for the better or for the worse. Too often we are so close to our own circumstances that we lack the ability to step back and realize that perhaps the adversity and change that we are doing a faceplant into is exactly what we need to move forward toward a brighter, more positive and productive future.
I hope that my reaction to a change like winning the lottery would be positive. In my imagination, it’s hard to imagine it wouldn’t be positive. It would certainly make it easier to not worry about how I was going to get the money for my next order of pump supplies, or if this vial of insulin will last me until I get my next paycheck when I can afford to order more, or having to choose to skip meals so that the rest of my family can eat. These are the kinds of unfair choices that many people have to make.
Something I admire about this amazing diabetes community, both online and in real life, is that we make efforts to take care of each other. The singular need of one becomes the focus of a community of many, until the need is met with a solution.
I guess after seeing people lose their homes and belongings recently to Hurricane Irene, and having grown up in Florida where hurricanes ravage this state on a near constant basis, and having A-Flizzle who survived the devastation in Louisiana from Hurricane Katrina a few years ago, I feel compelled to encourage you to help out that person next to you, if you can.
Maybe you have a surplus vial of insulin that is going to go out of date before you will be able to use it. Maybe you have extra test strips that you can spare. Maybe you have a few CGM sensors that could help someone troubleshoot their BG’s and get them back on track and in a bit better control. Maybe you have a few minutes to call a friend who you know is overwhelmed and say, “You know what friend, I was just thinking about you. How are you today?”
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” You can never predict how big of a difference a simple act of kindness can make.