Sunday, July 10, 2016

Real Dreams

He was showing me something on his computer monitor, so I happened to be standing over his shoulder and to his left when he opened his top desk drawer. In it I could see a whole stack of lottery tickets. Hundreds of them. Maybe. Okay, maybe dozens. I don’t know. I didn’t count them. But there were lots of them.

“What’s with the lottery tickets?” I asked.

“I like to buy them.” He answered.

“So, are those tickets winning tickets or losing tickets or what?” I prompted.

“I have no idea.” He said. “I just buy them and keep them in the drawer.”

“You mean you’ve never checked them out to see if they’re winners?” I continued.

“There’s really no point.” was his response.

“No point? What if one of them is a winner?”

“They’re not.”

“Well, if you’ve never checked them out, then how do you know there’s not a winner in there?”

“Odds.” He said. “The odds of winning are astronomical. The odds of winning are about the same as being hit by lightning. I’ve not yet been hit by lightning, nor a train (which occurs with just about the same frequency), nor have I contracted a rare blood disorder, nor have I defied the odds in any other way. Probability tells me that there is no winner in that drawer.”

“So, then, why buy the tickets?”

“They allow me to dream.” Was his reply. “I like to dream about the things I would do if money were no object.”

“Can’t you dream without buying a lottery ticket?”

“That would be utterly futile. I’m a realist. Do you think I can believe that money like that would just appear out of thin air?”

“So, you buy lottery tickets so you can dream?”


“And you don’t check them out because you’re a realist?”


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