As I listened on CBC radio to Anna Maria Tremonte’s interview with lottery winner, Bob Erb, I was moved by what one woman said. Bob who had won $25 M, was giving much of it away – to his family, friends and people he didn’t know, as well as charities that he wanted to support.
One recipient was this woman for whom Bob had purchased a new van. With great emotion in her voice, she shared that in all her life she’d never owned anything that was brand new. Never. And this was the first time anyone had given her something new; something she could not have afforded for herself.
Noted for my love of shopping, it was the “never had anything new” that hit a nerve with me. While I know that not everyone can go out and buy what they want, when the want, and that most of us have to save, especially for the big ticket items, it was a shock to hear a grown woman say she’d never had anything new.
It made me realize that I take for granted my ability to shop for what I want. Note I say want, not need. And as I declutter and pack up my home, it is a bit of a rude awakening to see how materialistic I have been over the years in collecting all this stuff. Stuff that as I sort through it all, I maybe have never used, worn or read. I feel guilty.
At least in taking much of it to the Salvation Army, someone else is getting the opportunity to enjoy or use my “leftovers.” But it is not one of my proudest moments, because I have clearly overindulged myself over the years, unlike the woman on the radio, I have had too much new. I have overdosed on it.
It does make you want to look at why we shop. Is it because we actually need the items, or are we rewarding ourselves in some way? I certainly know that I am going to be much more aware of and curb my buying tendencies.
So kudos to Bob for the approach he is taking. Who needs $25M? What would you do with all that money? Far better to share it and see other people benefit, now that really would be winning.