What is it to be poor?
photo by David Keller
(trip to Peru)
Some place, perhaps several places,
I have heard adults
make the comment that they never knew
that they were poor when they were young.
Their parents never said that they were poor.
Their needs were met
and they were all very happy together...
Now I realize the difference between being poor,
living in poverty, and not having needs being met.
Here I'm referring to having the basics
without all the frills that most of us have...
TV sets, cars, etc.
I would bet that even some reading this
would say...hey... cars and TV sets are needs.
Perhaps it is somewhat relative dependent
on how well off we are and what we classify as our "needs",
but I'm talking about basic needs...
food, water, clothing, and a roof over our heads.
"It is not the man who has too little,
but the man who craves more, that is poor."
...to love and to be loved... neither one is poor
"I met in the street a very poor young man who was in love.
His hat was old, his coat worn,
his cloak was out at the elbows,
the water passed through his shoes, -
and the stars through his soul."
- Victor Hugo
"Who, being loved, is poor?"
- Oscar Wilde
"Content makes poor men rich;
discontent makes rich men poor."
- Benjamin Franklin
"You have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat."
- Isaiah 25:4 NIV
What It Means To Be Poor
"One day a father of a very wealthy family
took his son on a trip to the country
with the firm purpose of showing his son
how poor people can be.
They spent a couple of days and nights
on the farm of what would be considered
a very poor family.
On their return from their trip,
the father asked his son,
"How was the trip?"
"It was great, Dad."
"Did you see how poor people can be?"
the father asked.
"Oh Yeah" said the son.
"So what did you learn from the trip?"
asked the father.
The son answered,
"I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden
and they have a creek that has no end.
We have imported lanterns in our garden
and they have the stars at night.
Our patio reaches to the front yard
and they have the whole horizon.
We have a small piece of land to live on
and they have fields that go beyond our sight.
We have servants who serve us,
but they serve others.
We buy our food,
but they grow theirs.
We have walls around our property to protect us,
they have friends to protect them."
With this the boy's father was speechless.
Then his son added,
"Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are."
- Author Unknown
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
June 11, 2008
What is it to be poor?