*This is not a brag or chance to rub this in the face of as many people as possible. That would make me into the exact kind of person I hate. This is to show that what we can do for others if we think of money as the tool as a means, not as an end.
I have just come into $114,000 dollars, and my mind is going a thousand miles an hour. This is the most amount of money I’ve ever had or been given at one time, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t freaking out a little and I felt like going on a Michael Jackson-like shopping spree. You remember. “I want this…this…give me three of those.” There is a HUGE part of me that wants to say “screw it” and leave the country to live anonymously in a yurt in Inner Mongolia; Outer Mongolia has gotten WAY too touristy. I know that this is just my id talking and that, if I’m smart about this, I can do great things with this dough. That reminds me-imagine all the doughnuts I could buy with this scratch.
But I of course want to be practical about this; I have about $30,000 in student loans and medical bills, so it’ll be nice to chip away at those and get them to a manageable level. I also have work to be done on my Jeep, so it will be nice to be able to prevent being stranded in the middle of nowhere because I missed some relatively minor repair. I’d also like to go on a trip. Not a huge, let’s-go-to-Europe trip, but a short Labor Day trip with the missus. Somewhere like Chicago or Nashville where I’ve never been. It’d be a hell of a time and it would be nice to get out of this city for a few days.
I’m also tempted to do a bit of shopping. I’m a man who loves to go clothes shopping for himself. It’s a bit difficult in the Summer because this is Florida and regardless of what I wear, I end up a walking pool of sweat after being outdoors for about five minutes. But Fall and Winter is where I shine and get to actually wear what I enjoy wearing, A nice, new (but not overly expensive) suit may be in the works. It’s been years since I’ve bought a new gray suit. Maybe it’s time to hit up Asos or Combatant Gentlemen. I’m a sucker for a killer suit that won’t require me to sell a kidney to buy it.
I think I’ll also to throw a few bucks my mother’s way. By my estimation, she’s loaned me somewhere in the neighborhood of Nigeria’s deficit since I turned eighteen (nearly seventeen years ago,) and I think it would be nice to give something back to the person that literally gave me everything (by way of birthing me, and all.) I wouldn’t mind seeing her go on a nice, big, fuck-you-I’m-going-to-Europe trip, or just surprising her by booking it myself and springing the news on her. She hasn’t been to Europe since we left in 1998, so frankly I’m not sure if she would know what to do with herself to go alone. I think I’ll send my sister with her just to be safe. Strength in numbers, kids.
I will also be using this gracious windfall to better myself further through education. While I am a college graduate with TWO, count them, TWO Bachelor’s degrees (which, oddly enough, DO NOT add up to equate to a Master’s, mind you,) I feel that education is a lifelong process that does not end or even begin with formal schooling. There is something about constantly learning new things that keeps you young, and it was the great Eddie Vedder himself who stated that “all that’s sacred comes from youth.” He wasn’t bullshitting, people. Though my educational background was in Political Science and German, I am fascinated by computer programmers and coders. I’d like to learn a bit of the more popular programming languages and maybe take a piano class. Gotta stay well-rounded, after all.
I will also be giving a large portion of this money away to causes I feel passionate about and ones that I feel are overlooked. I will be founding an organization to house the homeless here in my hometown so that we help them beyond giving them bowls of soup and a homemade scarf at Christmastime. There are hundreds of abandoned buildings in this town that could be converted into long-term housing, and I’d like to set the ball rolling on that front. I’d also like to give back to the local chapters of the American Heart and Lung Associations, as I have a personal connection to both of those groups (more on that in a future article.) I have also decided to give a bit of money to my alma mater. I don’t have enough to give to have a dorm or library named for me, but I’m hoping for maybe having my favorite urinal or seat in the dining hall named for me.
While this money won’t last me the rest of my life, or even the rest of my thirties most likely, I can see that it’s effects last until at least the rest of my life and hopefully beyond. The point of having money is not to HAVE money. Money is a tool, like a hammer, or a chainsaw, or vehicle even. In and of themselves, they have (or shouldn’t have) any intrinsic value. They are not idols to be revered and gawked at. Their real value comes in what they allow you to do; what they allow you to build. Where they can take you. So rather than squander this large amount of money on lavish trips, dinners at restaurants that will be long gone by the time my credit card is charged, or simply on myself alone, I will treat money as the utility that it is and use it for things that I won’t be ashamed to mention or see on a bank statement.
The Editor at Manner is happy to be a new hundred thousandaire and will utilize this money to continue his goal of helping men dress better and live better lives, especially in his hometown of Jacksonville.