If I Were a Billionaire
This prompt from You Write the Title III is from SCH.
I’ve never really thought about having a billion dollars. It’s too big. I’ve thought about having a few million – usually after I hear about lottery winners, when I parse out the money while I’m listening to the news on the way to work. Like recently, 16 public employees from New Jersey split part of a Powerball jackpot and each one ended up with just under $4 million.
I’d pay off and redo my condo, do some cool gifts and donations, sock away savings for the rest of my life for living and any medical bills, and then I’d write and travel the world.
I don’t want to live in $500 shirts or $1,000 shoes or a 10,000-square-foot house or a $100,000 car. And the problem with a billion dollars is that a sum that big becomes a job of its own. You become a professional steward of your fortune. I’d help out my family, travel, all the stuff above… but I’d also need to find a cause to throw myself and my billion behind.
I’m not sure what it would be. I wonder how Bill and Melinda Gates decided, or any other philanthropists. There are definitely a few things this world needs figured out.
How politics can be about stewarding a nation instead of aggressive power.
How to get people clean water, healthy food, medical attention, education, and the freedom and safety that enables creative expression.
How to balance well-being for humans and animals and the planet.
So, okay. Education. Arts. Water. Environment. Hmm. How cool would it be to have an endowment? I always wondered who the people were that were mentioned on those PBS telethons when I was little: who was Geraldine R. Dodge and how did she get a foundation? Then that’s what I do with my billion. Debts, home, gifts, donations, presents, endowment.
But that’s pretty boring. What else? I’d go to every possible place on the planet I could. I’d climb Kili and take a helicopter over Victoria Falls. I’d see the Northern Lights and watch the stars from the most remote place I could find. I’d learn how to drift, kiteboard, speak Spanish and French and possibly Mandarin.
It’s funny. When I think of the things I want most out of life… none of which are on that list… or even the things on that list… I’m not sure I need that billion. Enough to be safe, of course. But a billion? I think I’m okay.
Also in the You Write the Title III series: