Writing from the Heart: To Jeff Bezos

Just a few requests for the founder of Amazon.

Nancy Aronie — Eli Dagostino

Dear Jeff (Bezos):

Not sure why I felt the need to say your last name. You certainly must know mine.

Loved my last order of those solar lights that look like flickering flames. They are beyond cool. Oh, and the Anne Cole Studio vintage one-piece that I couldn’t find even on Anne Cole’s own website? You saved me, really. It’s the only bathing suit I wear. Not sure if you check peoples’ order history, but it’s embarrassing how many of those I’ve gone through. Not gonna blame Anne Cole, that’s for sure. Or you. It’s the chlorine. Eats them like candy.

Speaking of candy: I can’t believe what a bargain my huge bag of spice drops was. My grocery store, Cronig’s, which I love, has been all out since COVID. So who do I call? Not ghostbusters! Amazon, of course.

The cafe cubano which used to cost me a fortune is the bargain of the century, so obviously now I buy from you, not direct from the actual manufacturer.

One thing, and this is a confession I feel guilty about (and I know I’m not the only one): I have two lovely bookstores in my community, and I know supporting brick-and-mortar shops is vital, especially now, but it’s so hard to compare yours at $1.99 to theirs at $29.95. So I’ve made a deal with myself: two from you to one from them.

Anyway, my sister had breast cancer five years ago, and she found a very unorthodox doctor (not on Amazon, haha); he had her go to a shaman and take massive amounts of turmeric and stay off sugar and flour and dairy completely. A few other out-of-the-box protocols, and voilà, two of her tumors are gone completely, and the third one is shrinking. No chemo and no radiation.

Anyway, she told me the other night she has a bucket list. Not to go to the fjords. Not to go bungee jumping, not to sign up for one of those absurd trips to Mars.

No, her bucket list includes consuming croissants with cream cheese (which she hasn’t had for five years), dark chocolate bars, and Boston cream pie.

It got me thinking. I never thought about having a bucket list. But when I heard you were now the wealthiest human on the planet, worth two hundred billion, it motivated me to create the following:

My bucket list for you, Jeff Bezos:

  • Pay everyone’s rent right now.
  • Send everyone who is hurting financially checks with amounts they need to live with no food insecurity, and daycare, plus all expenses they incur for everyday living until life resumes.
  • Establish a WPA. Musicians should be on every corner of every street in every city, and be paid to play. Murals and art projects should blanket the towns and cities, and artists should be paid. Poetry slams and readings should be offered, streaming constantly on all devices, and live as well.
  • Raise the salaries of teachers so they become the highest-paid profession.
  • Raise the salaries of the police, and vet them and have them take psych classes, then add a special unit of trained professionals for calls requiring psych training.
  • Spend some money protecting peaceful protesters.
  • Buy back all the guns that aren’t for hunting. Start a campaign that assures folks they will be safe. Because if people are fed and nourished and not desperate, they won’t be looking to hurt anyone, so you won’t need your pistol to protect your loved ones.
  • Pay reparations to families of slaves.
  • You could fund community colleges, then higher education could be free to everyone.
  • Buy Fox News. Make them an offer they cannot refuse. Keep all their commentators; just add some balance, so we don’t have two separate countries. That way people can make informed choices and not be brainwashed.
  • Fund a program to build small, safe, thorium nuclear reactors. My husband says in 10 years we could have 30,000 peppered around the world, and every country would have all the power they need for everything. BTW, this will provide millions of jobs, so you won’t have to spend that much helping people pay their debts. They’ll be able to pay on their own.
  • Give Trump $10 billion and his own television station. Tell him he can tell the public he wants to spend more time with his family.
  • Do the same with Netanyahu.
  • Help find honest leaders who care about their citizens in Syria and Lebanon and Afghanistan and Yemen and Ethiopia and Libya and Kashmir and Venezuela and Ukraine, and all the places in the world that are in crises.
  • Buy all the prisons and unprivitize them immediately. Take the doors off the cells. Let the inmates decorate their spaces. Let them walk the grounds. Psychologists should be available 24/7 for healing. Classes in music and art and writing should be offered. Practical job training should be available so when they leave they are employable.
  • Fire all lobbyists. No more lobbying. People decide their own fates. I know you will think this is a good idea.You’ve made your fortune on people deciding their own fates.
  • Israel and Palestine. OMG!!! Please help with this one: Can you get all the spiritual teachers, like Eckhart Tolle and Deepak and Jack Kornfield and Pema Chodron and Sylvia Boorstein and Tara Brach and Caroline Myss to come together and help make a beautiful, harmonious, peaceful, one nation indivisible? I’m kind of begging you on this one.

According to my calculations, you will still be left with a few billion, and a world that is filled with love and kindness.

Tell me what’s worth more than that, and I’ll cross a few things off my list.