What it means to be poor

A rich parent, wishing that his son learns what it means to lack the luxury he lived in, sent him to stay with farmers on their farm. The son spent three days and three nights on the farm.

Driving back to the city, the father enquired on his son’s experiences, to which the son replied that his stay was a positive one.

“Have you learnt anything”, asked the father.

“Oh yes”, replied the son –

We have one dog whilst they have four.

We have a swimming pool as large as our garden and full of chemically treated water.  They have a river with crystal clear water, full of various types of fish and fauna .

We use electricity to light up our garden;  they have the moon and the stars to brighten up their fields.

Our garden extends up to the boundary wall; their land up to the horizon

We buy our food; they grow it in their fields, harvest it and cook it.

Our music comes from CDs; their lives are brightened by a continuous symphony of  birds, crickets , animals and other sounds from nature, which, on occasion, is also accompanied by  the voices of neighbours working in the adjoining fields.

That we use microwaves and other modern appliances, but our food lacks the flavour of their food, which is cooked on a slow burning fire.

That to protect ourselves, we live behind walls and burglar alarms whilst they live with doors wide open and protected by their neighbours’ friendship.

That our lives are dependent on mobile phones, computers, television and theirs enriched by life, the sun and the sky, the land and their livestock, and their families

The father was utterly stunned by his son’s reflections. His son then added:

“In a nutshell, thank you for showing me how poor we are.”

Indeed,  with every passing day we tend to become poorer because we distance ourselves further from nature, God’s greatest gift to mankind.

We are more preoccupied with accumulating possessions and riches rather than enjoying this wonderful gift of nature and being thankful for being alive and well.


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