Have you ever thought about what you would do if suddenly you had a large sum of money?
I have. Many times.
At one point, when I was doing seminars and in multi-level marketing, I was taught to "dream big." There was no reason I couldn't have anything. There was a lot of flash to be had. So I thought about cars and nice places to live, and travel, and other things.
I'd like to think I thought of others, too, but if I am honest, I am not sure it was there, or if it was, it certainly wasn't Top of the List.
About 10-12 years ago, I was in a bad place. I had had a freelance job that was suddenly done. I struggled for quite some time. There was a period I was working 4 jobs, and making no real money at any of them. I was cooking and cleaning for someone, I worked for an appraiser, I worked in an advertising company and worked as an information operator.
None of the jobs were full time, and I think the most I was paid for any of them was $12 an hour.
I ran into credit card issues, and at one point pursued government assistance for my electric bill. I went to whatever I needed to go to, but I never followed through. It was demoralizing. It was humiliating. At one point I wondered just how much worse bad could get.
At the time it was the worst moment of my life.
(Since being diagnosed with cancer, that has, of course, changed...and my question answered)
I remember thinking at the time how much I would love to start some kind of organization that could help people who were financially in trouble with bills in a way that was without judgment, in a way that was respectful and with the awareness and knowledge that people find themselves in situations that suck, but it doesn't mean that those people suck.
Anyone could wind up in need. There are stories of situations just like that. People who one day are doing extraordinarily well, and then something happens, and they're on the other end of the spectrum.
I had even bought the domain name LINC Pages, which stands for Living IN Community. It was something I wanted to bring together with ideas that I had to help people promote their businesses.
I had thoughts that when "things got better" I would work on this idea. Well. Things did get better, but then they went backward. I had been doing well financially, so I decided to move to California. Right after I moved, the economics of this country started to dip, and took me along with it.
Could I have done something while there? Perhaps. But I was spending so much energy and focus on just trying to survive (much of my life has included struggling - perhaps a conversation for another day). I was spending hours doing things, as I worked for myself. Most of the time I was working morning to night.
Then I moved from California, hoping in the process that I would get my bills paid off. I was less than a year from that happening, when I was diagnosed with cancer. At that point, whatever savings I had was used to survive financially while not working.
Now I have next to nothing.
And, in the back of my mind is that organization I wanted to start. How can I possibly do anything? At one point I had suggested that I would sell some of my items, and give a portion of the proceeds to an organization that helps those who were dealing with cancer. The response I got was that I had to take care of myself first.
As a result, I have wound up personally just doing what I can when I can for someone else in need, without it being anything publicly known or related to my work. But it is a drop in the bucket. There is so much more I would want to do.
I don't really know what the answer is. I was thinking about this because I saw a clip from "Undercover Boss" in which a woman received $250,000 from her "boss." I have often wished someone would just say, "here you go," with no strings attached. The guy had even paid the taxes on the money so it was truly $250K.
I would take it, and find someone to help me get an organization started that would help those who needed help. Part of what I have stumbled with is a business plan and the business head to be able to create what needs to be done. I would find a person or people to help with that, too. With some of the money I would pay off my bills so that I wouldn't have to worry about how I was going to live. And by having other people involved, if I didn't get to stick around for very long, at least my idea could.
My heart really goes out to those who need help. There are way too many of us. And, unfortunately, most who are able to help aren't those who have been in a position of needing it themselves, so there are often judgments made about them, and all kinds of misconceptions about the people and the circumstances they find themselves in.
I realize that money doesn't solve all problems, but it certainly can make a big difference in a world that functions in a great deal from that place.
I hope I will one day be able to create my dream. Until then, I guess I will just hope and pray that I either stop surviving long enough to live that dream, or find whatever I need to make it happen any way.
Any miracle workers out there?