Last week’s post $50,000,000 or a Chance to Start Over must have hit a nerve. I had more responses to that post than any in the past year.
I promised to tell you in this week’s follow up post how I would respond if I had the chance to make that choice. Most of you chose the $50,000,000 and for some very honorable reasons.
If you haven’t read last week’s post or the responses, I suggest you go back and check it out. Continue reading to learn which choice I would make.
Your responses may have been somewhat skewed by the way I described “living life over.” Many of you felt that your whole life would be changed because of the choices you would make in your new life.
You’re probably right, but when I talked about living life again from age five, I was talking about the same parents, treated differently because of what you learned the first time around. Same spouse treated differently because of lessons learned in your first crack at life.
As I read your comments, I realized that there might be the possibility of a different spouse because the first one was made as the result of poor judgement!! Yikes! Or you might choose a different job because you followed your heart instead of the dollar.
But imagine that you could live your life over again from age five without those major changes. And this time you could be more compassionate, more aware of honoring God with your decisions, without major changes. I know! That’s impossible! But remember, I asked you to imagine.
If that were the case, I would do life over again from age five and settle for just a million dollars. After all, I’m 70 what am I going to spend $50,000,000 on? A gold plated walker and gourmet soft food?
I really would want a do over the way I treated my parents. I could have been a more sensitive romantic husband. I certainly would have spent more time doing things with my children instead of just allowing them to do things with me.
So many of you pointed out that the mistakes you made in life helped make you what you are today. What if the mistakes you made in life helped you live it differently the second time around?
If I were 20 I might take the $50,000,000. It really would be fun to have that kind of cash available to help people in need.
I guess if I were honest, and this were more than a hypothetical question, if someone actually waved the cash in front of me, I might grab it and run. I would write a book for five year old children about the lessons I learned in life and how they could avoid the mistakes I made. Yep, on second thought that’s what I would do.
Change hundreds of little lives instead of just one and still have millions more to help others. And most importantly I’ll have enough left over to get that gold plated walker, some gourmet soft food and maybe a Starbucks Latte.
It was fun and stimulating to think about this. Thanks for all your comments. I learn from you.[reminder]
I would take the time. Even if I could not change major events, I could cherish the moments I had with some very special people. People we lost way too soon. We only get one life. I wish everyone could realize just what a precious and unique gift that one life is.
PS And besides if I had been smarter back then, I might have made 50,000,000 by age 60.
Thanks for this two-part series Ken. The question was amazing to ponder and even more fun to share with others and talk about. My anecdotal experience suggested that the older people were the more likely they were to go for living life over; the younger the more likely to go for the money. In fact that is where I leaned…knowing what I could do with the money to help others at this stage in my life, knowing what I know now, made me ponder taking the money.
There was also another consideration for me. Some of the things I felt I would avoid if I lived my life over are the very things that have made my life truly worthwhile…they’ve taught me the best lessons and help me help others avoid the pitfalls, overcome the obstacles, and shorten the learning curve. The idea of losing those experiences and those lessons also pointed me to the money.
Hmm. Although an opportunity to go back, so-to-speak, is tempting, I would pick the big money and continue. I would give away much of the money and leave much to my wife and children.
I would retain enough to pay for the taxes on my social security and a few soft pastel sticks and paper to paint with.
God will provide the rest.
On one hand I would love to go back and this time treat my parents with respect and much more love, especially my Dad. Although he was hard working and had very little time for me, the time we had together would be spent differently this time around. I would have cherished my time with my grandparents more, too, and especially my Mom, who suffered from Hodgkin’s Disease all her adult life. On the other hand, the $50 M would be used to spread the Gospel around the globe. Part would be put away for our kids and grandkids but most would be given to those organizations who take care of others and spread the Gospel. Not in one lump sum but in smaller lump sums over the next however many years there are. Imagination is great but reality is worth the struggle with Jesus on board!
Chalk it up to the fact that, since I live in my head and time seems suspended for much of my wakeful day, I don’t think I’d want to return to when I had to go through those schools all over again (you said to imagine it without those major changes ~ Dad was military so we were always moving!).
I’m still young enough (or simply refuse to age; hey, I’m only 55; lots of time to grow up), so I’m a lot more interested in what is yet to be than what I already managed to survive by the Grace of God! Also, yes there would be different mistakes and choices made just by knowing what I do now (and what I don’t know yet).
Forty million would support some hospitals where they so badly need it … 🙂 .. and I could invest the 1 mil I hold onto, leaving a sweet little legacy for those who remember what a goofball I am. 😉
I would absolutely take the money. This life is exhausting, and awful, and wonderful … but I long to meet my Savior and let my reality in Heaven begin! The money would be served as a means to aid us in our current adoption process as we are pursuing six Ukrainian orphans for adoption. Our reach is limited by our finances – and that is beyond heartbreaking. Ten percent of Ukrainian orphans will commit suicide within the first year of aging out. Twenty percent will end up in jail. Sixty percent of the girls will be forced into violent sex trafficking. So the money – I would absolutely take the money to help us fund our adoption and the Bridges of Faith ministry that brings Ukrainian orphans to the States to get them exposure to churches and families who will hopefully heed the call of James 1:27 to care for the orphan and open their hearts and homes to them. You can follow our adoption journey at http://www.branchesandarrows.com
I would take the money! I would not want to live life over. My mom was wonderful but dad was suspected to have serious mental issues So I don’t want to be a child again. . I went into the military and got raped (for over a week). Then I got engaged to the love of my life….I lost him to a cult like group. (They told him I would lead him to hell and they would lead him to heaven.) Now I am married to someone who has narcissistic ways about him . I am thankful to God for my mom. I am thankful for so many of the things I experienced and most of the folks I met in the military. I am even thankful I met the love of my life because many folks never experience that kind of love. But I am done and don’t want to go back!
Yes, this was very entertaining and very thought-provoking. I liked reading about the fact that you actually had something different in mind than what some people perceived your original question to be.
With society being such that it is and steadily getting worse, with racism, prejudice and injustice so negatively affecting the lives of sooo many human beings (including mine), I have been ready for Yeshua (Christ) to return for some time! There’s no way I would want to go back and relive hatred, inequality and degradation toward those of us who are non-white!
If I could relive my life on an even playing field, in a just world, then maybe I’d feel differently. However, the generational setbacks would still remain so I’m not so sure.
The bulk of the money would help the underprivileged, in the Name of the Lord! I would spread the Gospel while helping those in need. I would just like enough money for myself to be able to shop without worrying about the cost of every item, to give my offspring a nice financial start and to live in a small, but comfortable house with a beautiful yard.
Thanks for sharing this with your readers and allowing us to ponder that choice. May God continue to Bless us all….
I don’t think I’d like to relive my life from age 5. The part before coming to age would be awful – not much agency to change anything, but still knowing everything that is still coming after it… Sure, I could have made some better choices, but I’d probably make mistakes again, just different ones.