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The Year of Reckoning!

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You cannot get what you’ve never had unless you’re willing to do what you’ve never done.


When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it - always.
- Mahatma Gandhi


The Lion asked the Wizard one time, "When does a slave become a king?"

"When You start acting like one! "

Otherwise You remain a slave all Your life.

 Curse of the Lottery 
Curse of the Lottery 

The Curse of the Lottery
By Robert Ringer

The story 20/20 did on Jack Whittaker, winner of $315 million in the
Powerball multi-state lottery in 2002, was heavy, to say the least.
(Since he opted to take a one-time payout, Whittaker actually
received "only" a little over $113 million after taxes.) His is yet
another in a long line of tales about people who suddenly find
themselves immensely wealthy - and subsequently miserable.

The first reality of newfound wealth that Whittaker was confronted
with was an endless parade of people with requests for money. Some
folks didn't even bother to ask for a handout in person. They just
sent letters - 50,000 of them! - telling him they needed some of his
green stuff.

Whittaker forked over about $50 million before he came to his senses.
But when he backed away from his role as year-round Santa Claus, the
moochers became angry. A number of them even threatened him.

When their threats failed, many of the good folks in West Virginia
started suing Deep Pockets Whittaker for a variety of alleged torts.
(He's counted about 400 legal claims against him since he won the
lottery, only in America)

Confused and intensely unhappy, Whittaker began carousing, drinking,
and propositioning young gals in strip clubs. His wife of 44 years
threw him out, and, after giving away millions, he found himself with
no friends.

But there was one glowing light in his life - his beloved
granddaughter, 17-year-old Brandi. Whittaker gave her four new cars
and an allowance of $2,000 a week. It was a real-life Beverly
Hillbillies saga, only played out in West Virginia instead of

As one might have predicted, having that kind of cash in her pocket
led Whittaker's granddaughter to drugs. Soon after that, in September
2003, her boyfriend, Jesse Tribble, died of a drug overdose in
Whittaker's home. Then, a little over a year later, Brandi, too, was
found dead of an overdose.

Stating the obvious in his tearful 20/20 interview, Jack Whittaker
said, "Money is not what makes people happy." Of course, every half-
sober, mature adult already knows that. But it's also important to
understand that money doesn't automatically saddle a wealthy person
with unhappiness.

Money, contrary to the popular aphorism, is not "the root of all
evil." And, in fact, that's not what the source of those words - The
New Testament (Timothy, 6:10) - actually says. Rather, it
states, "For the LOVE of money is the root of all evil." (My

What makes money (and, I would suggest, fame) appear to be evil is
the way some people react to it. From Marilyn to Anna Nicole to
Britney, it's as though money is a demon that brings certain people
to their knees.

It seems to me that the trouble begins when people who find
themselves with instant riches relate to it in a way that causes them
to reflect on that age-old question, "Is that all there is?" And the
answer to that question is always, "No, that is not all there is." As
Jack Whittaker discovered, money cannot buy friendship, money cannot
buy love, and money cannot buy a meaningful purpose in life.

I think the reason we see so much of the lost-soul syndrome among
Hollywoodites is because the odds of achieving success in the world
of glitz and glitter borders on the same odds as winning the lottery.
When you're suddenly making $10 million to $25 million for memorizing
someone else's words and mouthing them in front of a camera, it's not
difficult to understand why it might have a detrimental effect on
your psyche. In all honesty, I'd probably feel guilty, too, if I got
paid that kind of money just for pretending to be someone else for a
few weeks. (I'd take it, of course, but I'd feel guilty.)

This, I believe, is what causes so many celluloid stars to
desperately search for meaning in half-baked causes, redistribution-
of-the-wealth politics, or adopting needy children halfway around the
world (when they could do just as much good by adopting needy
children right in their own hometowns). To paraphrase Richard Bach in
The Bridge Across Forever, when you suddenly come into a lot of
money, it's like being handed a glass sword, blade first. You had
better handle it very carefully while you take the time to figure out
what in the heck you're supposed to do with it.

Bach should know. He went from journeyman writer to author of
Jonathan Livingston Seagull (which was then the biggest-selling non-
fiction book of all time) to bankruptcy! In other words, he's been
there. He took the bait and grabbed the glass sword by the blade.

If you are fortunate enough to one day find yourself the recipient of
great wealth, heed Bach's warning about money. Handle it carefully.
And before doing anything foolish, ponder long and hard what it's

Even better, start pondering that right now. By doing so, you not
only will be ready for the glass sword if and when it makes its
appearance, but, should it never get around to showing up, life
without money will be much more meaningful to you.

My heart goes out to Jack Whittaker. May he find meaning in his
travails with his windfall fortune... and a meaningful purpose in his


The Truth Shall Set You Free

Freedom Club USA


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