During this week, the school’s dedicated English teacher and I decided to pose this question to the students; If you had one billion US dollars, what would you do? It’s a question that I sometimes ask my friends while drinking. “A new house”, “private jet”, “2 girls at the same time”, are some of the answers that frequently come up. Heck, when I posted the same question on Reddit, the answers were “burn it”, “buy everyone a donut”, and “2 girls at the same time”, which speaks volumes of the internet community and my friends. One particular response I read was about how one manager uses this style of question to better understand a potential employee’s mindset. From their answer, he/she could assess or gauge the personality and character of the interviewee; a sense of humour, forward-thinking and maturity.
Anyway the teacher asked me, as a demonstration in class, and my answer was; “I will buy a sports car (Nissan Skyline R32) and a better apartment. I will give some money to charity and give some money to my family.” The students reacted with disbelief, and some with admiration. The vehicle and living arrangements were accepted as reasonable answers, but the concept of giving money away seemed completely foreign to them. The girls said things along of the lines of “how thoughtful” and “very kind”, all in Japanese of course. Meanwhile the boys claimed it was a waste and not necessary. Oh, I’m sure they had more important uses of one billion dollars.
[Currently checking their answers]
“I will buy a lot of games and comic books”
“I will buy many pencils”
Wow, you’ve got some big dreams there buddy. Thankfully some students wrote “travel the world” or “help poor people” which offered a more interesting angle to the question than games, comic books and the ownership of ten sports cars.
Anyway, I also explained that I would likely continue working even with an enormous financial balance. Lots of people ask me why, with that sort of money I wouldn’t need to work ever again. True but a job, as depressing as it sounds, gives my daily life some level of structure and routine. During my Summer Holidays this year, I describe my symptoms of seasonal depression; unmotivated, tired and comfort eating. The thought of living the rest of my life in that sluggish state is something that would drive me insane, even with a ludicrous amount of money.
So if you had one billion US dollars, what would you do with it?
(I wish I actually did have $1 billion dollars.)