human behavior

A faith misplaced

Posted in Habits & Manners by humanb on April 16, 2010

It just occurred to me today where my real faith lies.

I don’t have much faith in science. The evidence is pretty clear that smoking causes [insert organ here] disease and [insert organ here] cancer, and that every cigarette really is doing you damage. And yet in moments of weakness when I smoke a cigarette, I honestly don’t believe that one (or a pack of 20) will hurt me.

I don’t have much faith in people. I tend a bit towards paranoia and suspicion. I look too often for the selfish motive in someone’s behavior – that is, until I meet a truly generous and kindhearted soul. This shames me.

I don’t have much faith in politics, because I always seem to be despairing at the imminent demise of the U.S. economy. Or education system. Or social fabric.

I don’t have much faith in nature. I had a small garter snake when I was a kid, and ultimately got rid of it because I wasn’t entirely convinced it wasn’t sinister. And as much as I ADORE my mother-in-law’s dog Hairy (below), I’m not entirely convinced he won’t go Cujo on me one day and tear my face off.

I don’t have much faith in myself. Since kindergarten, I’ve never started a class without thinking, I’m the least intelligent person in the room and I’ll probably fail if I don’t work twice as hard. I’m about to finish med school so I suppose this attitude hasn’t hurt much.

But I must have a great deal of faith in some unseen benevolent force in the universe that bestows great rewards upon the chosen, because I’m always convinced that I’ve just bought the winning lottery ticket.

Before I go online to check my numbers I always calm myself. I tell myself that this will be a great responsibility. That it’s actually more a burden than a reward. That I’ve been given the hard-earned dollar of twenty million different people dreaming of a life with less toil. That I must honor them by using this money to make easier the lives of as many people as possible. That I must never spend a cent of it wastefully. That I must not become a materialist. That I’ve been chosen to be an ethical and wise re-distributor of wealth.

I’m not even struggling financially and I don’t even like shopping. I buy $8 shoes from the Salvation Army and my wardrobe consists of 15 copies of the same $10 white buttoned-down shirt. I’ve never even owned a car – I drive my husband’s reluctantly. Oh, and I don’t like gambling.

So why am I even buying lottery tickets?

To help my loved ones in large part. But who am I kidding? Just as important: so I don’t have to work if I don’t want to. But how lame is it, that I want to take the easy road to helping someone else? I could work 60-hour weeks as a doctor and give 15% of my income away.  Giving away thousands that way would be more honorable than giving away millions I didn’t earn.

So let’s check those lotto numbers…


Well, I got two numbers.


Next time.

That’s it. When the jackpot is DOUBLE the size. That’s when I’ll win.

But I’ll have to be even calmer then.

It’s a big responsibility I’ll be given.

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2 Responses

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  1. bcrowderjackson said, on April 20, 2010 at 2:15 am

    Thanks for reminding me, I have 2 scratch offs in my wallet I haven’t scratched! lol

  2. condore said, on April 23, 2010 at 3:50 am

    I have no problem giving away money I have not earned – can’t wait to see that day come!

    Today is Friday and where I live the big lottery hits tonight. Got to go and buy my ticket.

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