It's all over the news, the Powerball lottery is higher than ever before, and everybody wants in on it. …What about homesteaders tho? Does the lottery go against the unspoken “homesteading code”? Isn't our lifestyle about living off the land? The goal of homesteading is not to be tied down by financial burdens, but instead to live within our means: off the fat of the land and the fruit of our labor.
How Does Homesteading Fit In With The Lottery?
While winning would be fun, in theory, there's a lot more burden to it than one might think. The first being: what next? You have to get the legal systems involved: find a lawyer, find a financial adviser, pay all the taxes, determine how to invest, fight off 3rd party acquaintances that just remembered you owe them some small favor from years past …Etcetera.
Are all those extra zeros in your bank account worth the accompanying burden? Weren't you happy living off the land just days prior? As a homesteader I don't like counting my days, I like counting my sunsets and sunrises. I don't add up my riches in terms of dollar signs, I add them up on the number of smiles shared, laughs had, and memories made. Looking back I will think of the number of animals birthed, vegetables harvested, and wine barrels aged; never on how many dollars spent or earned.
Living off the land is a wonderful rewarding lifestyle, and while having more money might make some things easier, the overall outcome would not match my lifestyle.
On the contrary, it is fun to dream, and dreaming doesn't have to be burdensome. If I won the lottery I would definitely donate to small local farms that have trouble surviving in commercial America. I would fix up the barn and hire a few helping hands from within the community. I would teach them quality homesteading skills while I was at it.
But I wouldn't want too much help. I like working with my hands, it keeps me in shape. I like being outside and doing physical labor, it gives me an appetite to eat all the delicious food we've been harvesting.
Money isn't the answer. Does it make some things easier? Yes. Better? Not always. It all depends on perspective, and as a homesteader, I have to admit that I am perfectly happy living within my means. Even if I have to keep on recycling the same burlap sacks, reusing the same mason jars, and staring at the same hairline crack in the ceiling until the day I die.
Here's how another homesteader put it, a very good read from Mother Earth News:
Winning The Lottery vs. Lifestyle Change
Original Publish Date: 5/17/2013 11:27:00 AM By Bruce McElmurray
…Like most people I sometimes dream of having an abundance of money and what I would do with it. While dreaming is fun actually I am already happy and cherish what I have and my lifestyle. A large chunk of money would not tempt me to change anything as I feel I am already rich in those things I experience every day. Sometimes riches come in forms that do not have dollar signs attached to them. Before readers think that I am crazy, let me explain.
Living on a mountain where the air is clean, the water is pure and the sights are spectacular we are already surrounded by riches. We are visited frequently by assorted species of wildlife from the predator size to the small type that scamper around. Our well water is abundant and delicious. We don’t filter or treat our water since it comes from a depth of 215’ below the surface of the ground and has already gone through a natural filtration system. It has no impurities in it and tastes like pure water should. [Click to read more]
…So would winning the lottery and having an abundance of money make us more happy? I actually don’t think so. Instead, I believe that would require that we change our lifestyle and give us an additional burden of using it wisely. So like millions of other American’s we can derive some happiness from dreaming of riches but still knowing all the while we have an excellent lifestyle and wealth beyond measure. Happiness can’t always be measured with financial wealth. Those who live similar to our lifestyle know exactly what I am talking about. So I may buy a lottery ticket again just to dream of riches but knowing all the time that I have true wealth that can‘t be measured in dollars. I have to admit that dreaming of mega bucks is a lot of fun though and I’m sure most non-winners like myself would agree.
So what do you think? Are you ready to win big? Or are you going to sit back and let the world keep on turning? What does homesteading mean to you?
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