I come from Beirut, Lebanon, a third world country by all means. We have corrupt politicians, political seats handed down from father to son, the worst power and water infrastructure, etc. I wrote a short satirical pamphlet about my home country and published it on Amazon, check it out. The reason I mention my origin is that having lived in the 3rd world country and now I live in the US, I can compare and contrast about the human mentality.
In my opinion, being poor is a three tiers problem: part misfortune, part personal responsibility and part lack of being empowered through proper education and spiritual aspiration. Let me explain what I mean.
Many people are born to parents who don’t know any better or are born as “an accident”. If the parents are not well informed then what happens to the kids they bring to the world? Most likely they also grow up not knowing any better and end up continuing the cycle. Of course there are exceptions and many brilliant people came from very desolate families.
I was lucky enough to have good and fair parents. My family is not rich, my dad worked 2 jobs to feed us and I barely saw him during my childhood and teenage years. But on the other hand, he never made me feel any lack. I was sent to school, he bought me my first video game console, my first computer and a weekly allowance so I can buy magazines and learn computer programming tricks from them.
Relatively speaking, while I was blessed, others were not. Being born in a poor family can be a big learning experience for you when you are properly guided so you can learn to rely on yourself and take your own future in your hands. I know many filthy rich people who have no character, are arrogant and nothing pleases them in life: they have no purpose, everything was handed down to them.
Misfortune can present itself as a dark tunnel with no light in sight. You miss the train of opportunity and go beyond redemption: you have no education, no guidance and all you know is life on the street.
Who to blame? Society? The leaders? The government? Our parents?
Ironically, I have seen more homeless people in big cities in the US than I have seen in my tiny 3rd world country.
What’s the difference? Why Lebanon has less homeless people than the US? From experience, I can tell you it is the society.
Family values are still way stronger in my country than it is in Europe and the US. Children love and respect their parents as the religious books teach. People still fear God in Lebanon…but not for long I am afraid. It seems there is a global wave of change where people are breaking away from spiritual values and flocking towards more carnal and egoistic values. Only time will tell what will happen to my country. With a tightly knit society, people help each other. In other societies, when family values are gone people become individualistic. They want to care about no one but themselves.
Life could have been hard throughout most of your life. It seems that you never got a break or a chance, as if opportunities never presented themselves…but is that true, is that true all the time?
Often times we get chances to improve ourselves, but instead we chose the easy route.
It may feel that we never got a break or chance in life, but when we get our break and we never take the chance to improve and instead go for the easy route. One bad decision builds on top of the other until the point of no return.
Making the right choices is not easy. Accepting failure is not easy, trying again and again is not easy. Life is not easy in general but what can we do?
Well, we can only do what we are aware and capable of. If we choose laziness and comfort instead of a growth opportunity then we cannot blame anybody but ourselves. The world is what we perceive it to be and how we to act and be part of it.
It is hard not to notice how people living in big cities are more and more self-absorbed and egoistic. Dog eat dog lifestyle.
Another aspect of personal responsibility is when people blame everything on others or the society. For instance, they are envious of successful people and yet they reject all opportunities to learn and succeed themselves. They want to succeed without making the efforts. Personal responsibility will empower you if you take action. Instead of being envious, learn to emulate successful people and look at them as a source of inspiration.
Proper education and spiritual aspiration
They say that man invented religion to control the masses. I truly believe in that. Many people never get to choose their religion consciously, instead it is forced upon them during their childhood by their family, or imposed on them by society or peer pressure. People want to have a sense of belonging.
People claim that they are of a certain faith but never practice the core values of their faith. Unfortunately, people choose to belong to a religion and believe all the “Hocus Pocus” while discarding all the logic. They wage wars in the name of religion. They fear to question and they take what they read in religious books at face value. They live in hypocrisy: they believe in something but they practice something else.
Being born a Christian myself, I have the biggest beef with Christianity and all the hypocrite religious figures starting from the leaders at the Vatican to all the faith healers and most pastors. Why? Because Christianity or the Christian church, as it stands today, does not empower people, instead it simply teaches people: dependency, to be like a flock, to be followers, not to question, to believe in the myth of Jesus being the son of God. Don’t you find it ironic that the Vatican is so rich and well adorned while millions of people live in hunger? Of course, I see the same hypocrisy in other religions, but this can be a topic for another time.
What does all this rant above have to do with this topic? Well, that rant is the essence of this article and makes a big difference in being “rich” or “poor”. Without proper spiritual aspirations and a moral compass people will do all kinds of evil or make bad decisions affecting their health and wealth.
Without knowing the good from the bad, without knowing the big picture and law and order on Earth, people will do all sort of crazy things. We, humans, living on Earth have the freedom to do all sort of things, but in fact we have a very simple goal apart from our biological imperative (which is to reproduce): to live a good life with harm to no one and to contribute to the well being of others and the society as a whole. It is that simple!
Amassing a fortune just for the sake of it is not the goal: it harms others. Tell that to greedy bankers and people in positions of power!
Waging wars against weaker countries for greedy reasons is another problem. Taking what is not ours is another problem, etc.
Looting is another example. Even if you are poor, that does not justify looting in times of crisis. In the absence of law, people should police themselves. Being “poor” is no justification to take what is not yours or what you have not earned.
Enough with the self victimization, be responsible and think of others around you and not just yourself.
Real spirituality can be attained for free or for a small material cost. You don’t need to follow a priest, a guru or a monk. They are teachers and only so. Stop at that. Do not idolize anybody. Under the same heaven we are all equal. Aspire for the good and you shall receive it.
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