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^-^.