On my walk to/from work, I pass a pretty nifty billboard for a multi-state lottery. The billboard has a digital display, and every 1-2 minutes a new tagline message appears.
This morning, one of the messages I read stated, “$72 million ways to live vicariously through yourself.”
It got me thinking.
There are several definitions for the word “vicarious”. (Such is the beauty of our English language; one word can be infused with many different nuanced meanings.) The most well-known definition of “vicarious” is to feel or enjoy through an imagined participation in the experience of others. Basically, to project one’s own wishes onto another person, and to then enjoy the life the other person is living – at the expense of our own.
No, no, no; that simply won’t do.
I liked that the billboard brought attention to this cultural phenomena; I was disheartened that the message implied that a person could only gain satisfaction with his/her *own* life by winning millions of dollars.
I then did the mental equivalent of shrugging my shoulders; and kept walking. On to work.
Fast forward 10 hours.
This evening, I passed by the billboard again, and saw the same tagline. And this time, I read it as, “72 million ways to live vicariously through yourself.”
No dollar sign.
As in, there are LIMITLESS ways we can each live in our very own lives. No money required.
In fact, my experience has been that some of the most precious, dear, fulfilling, delightful moments of my life – the moments where I truly feel alive – are ones that no amount of money could have arranged.
And I was struck by how wonderfully grateful I am for the life I have.