Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bored Rebel

The most baffling motivation I always hear with the neighbors when another neighbor got a new TV or any new appliances were these: “Rich people are crooks” or “Money is grubby and evil” or “I am poor but clean and good” or “I don’t want to have money and be stuck up”.

I just can’t understand why they say those things instead of being happy for them. Envy is very common in a close neighborhood, I guess. Or should I say, very prevalent in our culture especially in the political arena. As a kid, I kept thinking that if I get prosperous someday, I will be one of their topics. It’s either good or bad. You’ll be good if you feed them or give them drinks and in return, they’ll give you enormous sweet talks.

After years of working abroad and understanding another culture, I felt so free for the first time. I realized that a lot about my culture and beliefs had stayed so much and had prevented people to prosper. Even when opportunity knocks on the door, they still refuse to acknowledge it somehow. There has been a lot of these old, limited thinking. Perhaps these mentalities were developed during the Spanish-era where most of our ancestors became slaves. Yet, those days were 100 years old!

A cousin sent me this email telling how poverty is killing our country, etc.
"Sometime in November 2008, near ten o’clock in the evening I passed by a hill of garbage. I saw a father and two kids shoving over the piles of trash. They were able to get plastic containers and some metals. It was dark and soft rains were beginning to wet the grounds.

I greeted them, “Magandang gabi po.Kumusta po kayo.” (Good evening. How are you?)
“Magandang gabi po ma’m. Pasensya na po kayo.” (Good evening ma’am. We apologize.)
“Hindi po ako ma’am. Kapwa –tao rin po ninyo. Bakit po kayo nagpapapsenysa. Hindi naman kayo gumagawa ng masama” (I’m not a ma’am. I am your fellow. You do not need to apologize. You are not doing anything wrong.)"

It’s pretty common conviction in our culture that people don’t deserve to prosper. Or they’re not good enough to make money. Or they just let their environment control them by saying “My parents were poor and I will be poor”. I mean, it’s sad. It’s very depressing to know that most people are jammed and imprisoned by that belief. They are like eagles who forgot that they have wings and that they can fly as high as they wanted to.

To me, prosperity is the choice to do what you want to do. It is not about the amount of money but a state of mind. It is all about exploring God’s given talent and skills and enjoying it to the fullest. And with that note, you are giving it back since we cannot posses anything and it will pass on eventually. That’s the reality and natural flow of life- things come and go. And when something leaves, it’s only making space for something fresh and better^-^.
Shawie

4 Grateful Heart's Words:

Sandy said...

The green eyes monster is sadly too common place. People should be happy for their friends and neighbors not jealous.

Love the waterfall picture you posted. Ahhhhhhhh would love to be there right now.

Sandy

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

There are so many reasons for the grinding poverty that besets the Filipino society. Most notable of them are ignorance, superstition and just plain laziness. People who cannot afford to have multiple children are those who keep on bringing then into this world. To some of them, having many children are a blessing from God irregardless if they can afford to rear them. The vicious cycle of patronage politics where people rely on dole outs that politicians steal compound the situation in our country. It should be to each his own. Each person, each family must take care of themselves and not rely on others what they are inherently bound to do. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

jena isle said...

Hello S, AMEN to that. What our mind can conceive our body can achieve. Sometimes our worst enemy is ourselves. We don't believe in ourselves and if this is the case , then all is lost , even before the battle has begun. An inspiring post.

Debbie said...

I love this post Shawie! There's nothing wrong with having money. But it needs to be used in the right way. Where your treasuse is, there will your heart be also. I think if all you think about is money and that's mainly what you place value on, it's wrong (in my opinion). I don't think we should be jealous of other's good fortune but instead to use the gifts God has given us for good.

In my nursing school, we studied something called "the culture of the poor" during public health. Many families had a cycle of Welfare. They grew up on it and assumed their kids would also be the same.

It takes a concerted effort to change that mentality. And of course, hard work and prayer.