I was thinking about a scratch off lottery ticket that I recently bought. On the surface it seems to fulfill a simple desire, that is, a date with that fickle mistress, Easy Money. Some people say that Easy Money is bad for you, that money can't buy happiness. I disagree. I think you just need to take Easy Money to the right store.
I think there's more to the lottery ticket than just money. I think many of us feel impotent, or powerless, in our lives. We feel that we're not part of the machinations of the universe. Our presence in the world is unnoticed. Winning something from an anonymous lottery ticket gives us a little dopamine rush of importance.
Alas, we tend to forget a very important fact that shapes our lives. The ebb and flow of the universe is malleable. It can be shaped and molded. We can poke our sticks in the stream, rearrange the rocks and change how the mud is kicked up, and where the little eddy currents are. That's why we have free will.
We can't change the inexorable flow of the universe; the river keeps flowing. There are probably areas where the currents flow fast, or events have created floods, and we should avoid playing there. Of course there are times of calm, slow moving streams and gentle shaded banks where we can prod in the flow and shape it to our ends.
I suggest that we learn this and take advantage of it. We should stop waving our figurative metal rods in the air during a lightning storm hoping for that strike from heaven. Instead we should shape things along our banks of the stream to suit ourselves, and create a tiny of section of the universe where we can be happy.
Most of the posts I've tried to write have been giant discourses, which never get finished. For example, I have a long one on how the Affordable Care Act destroys the very concept of insurance, with disastrous results. It's still not finished, and probably never will be. I think I'll publish more often if I accept that smaller posts like this one can be fine. That's my new goal; smaller and more often.