I read an article this morning by James Altucher. In one particular section, I find it such a beautiful reminder to us 'suffering' from the daily grind.
Back in those days, James wanted to run a story about lottery winners, to interview them to know how their lives have changed since their overnight win. He called up the PA Lottery and got a list of all recent winners and started going down the list calling them. Almost nobody wanted to talk to him. Here's the part....
Finally, one guy spoke to me. He was 65 years old.
“At first it was great,” he said. He had, after his lump sum, about 8 million dollars. “My wife and I retired. We traveled a little bit. And I started my son in business. He sells supplies for boats down in Florida. I gave him all the startup money.
“But then I got diagnosed with severe diabetes. They had to cut off both my legs. Now my wife helps me out but every day is miserable. I wish I was dead. If you don’t have your health, you have nothing. I’d give it all back if I could have my legs.”
And then he was silent. I didn’t have any other questions but I didn’t know how to end the call. It felt weird saying, “ok thanks.” But I said, “I’m sorry to hear about that.”
“Yeah. Don’t lose your legs. You can’t ever get them back. There’s nothing good about it. I’d give all the money back if I could get my legs back. My life is over.”
I got off the phone and never wrote the article. The editor called me a few times to see if I had disappeared. I had, in fact, disappeared and never spoke to him again.
Years later, during the Internet boom, I felt like I had won the lottery. Then bad things happened and I wondered if I could ever come back from the bottom. But at least I can still walk.