I find this bloganuary topic too fascinating to pass up, although I am a couple days late. I have given some serious thought to what I would do with a billion dollars. Most of my paths lead me to corruption in some form!
Of course, I would give to my church, my family, my community. Good, harmless, helpful. Let’s play them out.
I set my children, mom, sister in nice homes. They have to have lawn maintenance. The lawn manager says, “I am too busy to do hers today. I’m already obligated to the neighbor.” I say, “If I can up the ante, would you find time?” Oops.
I give a nice hunk to my local church. They say, “Thanks, do you suppose you could help us with the missions in Haiti?” I say, “Maybe so, but doesn’t Brother Smith feel a special calling from God to oversee that project?” “Yes, but he is so slow at raising money it seems we are bogged down.” I respond, “Well if you are sure Brother Smith won’t be offended, I’ll be glad to take on the project.” oops “We didn’t ask whom God wanted, did we?”
So what can I do with a community project? I would love to have a museum of western paintings. That sounds safe. How well do I do? Starts off well. I buy some Remingtons, but, alas, I find I do not know how to go about buying really good stuff. A fellow drops by my “going-to-be” museum. He is very knowledgeable and wise. He makes me an offer I can’t refuse. He will bring me a priceless item every week. A few weeks later, I notice news articles about pieces of western art being stolen from various museums out in the Pacific Northwest. I feel a nudge to check that out, but that is a long way from me. It is surely just coincidence.
Hang with me while I try one more endeavor at spending my billion in a worthwhile and honest way. Education! Of course. A little research shows me I can’t follow requirements ordered by the Government, so it will have to be done in private facilities! Private facilities? Who can offer me the best for my money? I’ll talk to the mayor. He can probably key me in on some good angles if I offer a substantial “tip.”
And the wheel goes round! Once you take a little “tip” the news goes round. First thing you will find your tips turn to bribes and you didn’t even intend for it to happen.
Makes me think of Agur who said in the Bible, Proverbs 30: 8Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me. Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the bread that is my portion. 9Otherwise, I may have too much and deny You, saying, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, profaning the name of my God.