I am saddened by the events surrounding the beginning of the California lottery and more so by the reactions of the populace. There is great excitement and celebration as if some great event had occurred that was of glorious benefit to mankind. A friend commented that the money collected in the lottery would be better used for making progress with the problems of society. There will be some gain since a small portion of the money will be used in the school system. I can only dream about the greater benefit to society if all the money was available rather than only 36%.
It is disheartening to see human nature so blatantly exposed. A fund-raising effort or a school bond issue to realize the dollar amounts collected in the first day of lottery ticket sales would be doomed to dismal failure. When people are offered the remote possibility of getting back a large sum of money, their pocketbooks open wide. The motivation is not to provide teachers with a decent salary, upgrade deteriorating school facilities, or provide services that assist children in becoming responsible, functioning adults. The primary factor is the minuscule chance that one will become a millionaire.
Civilization has not progressed much in terms of humanity over the centuries. The only advances have been in technology. Mania can be initiated by anything that has the slightest glimmer of financial gain without effort. Humanity is indeed a thin veneer.