AND Be Thankful When the Heart Trumps Logic

January 17th, 2016

Maya Angelou is credited with having said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” I have found her statement to be a wonderful reminder to ignore the pundits and analysts who crunch the data and then say how we should behave or most likely will behave, according to logic and probabilities. The more powerful approach is the one that Dr. Angelou and a liberal arts education teach…read the original text, and don’t rely on others’ interpretations and summaries to know what is possible and true. Engage and observe for yourself.

I find myself relying on the wisdom of Dr. Angelou’s quote, as I observe the Powerball lottery fever that has dominated television airwaves and radio talk shows, as well as personal conversations for days. At a time when political campaigns drive fear and anxiety about the future, when the stock markets holding the dreams and savings of potential retirees drop, and media amplify the antagonism between competing individuals and countries, people choose to invest hard-earned money in lottery dreams.

The probabilities of winning are irrelevant. Statistics have nothing to do with dreams. The fun, laughter, and willingness to genuinely think about how to spend the after-tax portion of hundreds of millions of dollars trump logic. We are simply having too much fun imagining the possibility. The likelihood that the dreams will be realized is so low that it frees us from depending on or becoming too attached to actually winning.

It is a time to dream, share the experience with others, wish one another well, and joke with the sellers of lottery tickets. In times we might otherwise find burdensome or scary, people are having fun. When given the opportunity, we play…how refreshing. We have chosen to get in the game, play without trying to crush opponents, and share something big with people we don’t even know.

If my observations are accurate, people are showing each other that we love to play, want to dream, are not afraid to wish others well, even as we hold our own dreams, and are willing to include anyone who wants to share in the game. Dreams trump logic when we connect with the heart. That’s what all this lottery talk and hoopla show me. AND I love what it says about us, as people.

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