Poverty – by Oscar E V Fernando
Poverty is described as the condition of being poor and in want-poor in quality-in adequacy-in efficiency-imagination etcetera-and the most impactful of all to society, is the poverty of insufficient money-to-leave alone live comfortably, but having to live in squalor-misery-hunger and consequent malnutrition
United Nations-(UN)-says-poverty is-the inability to have choices and opportunities-a violation of human dignity-not having-enough to clothe and feed a family-no school or clinic to go to-land to till-a job to earn one’s living nor have access to credit
Poverty brings out hunger-an uneasy sensation-leading to exhaustion caused by want of food and water-causing malnutrition-leading to mental retardation and physical stunting of children-thus causing eventual death-and that-purely due to poverty
Hunger and poverty are called-twins in a trap and is a pointer towards terrorism
from early recorded history-we observe there was inequality of wealth and social status in the world-so much so that an exclusive class built itself up-to look down on the poor or even show wickedness and cruelty to them-whilst being ensconced in this exclusive class-thus brewing conditions of terror and subsequent revolution-depicted well in Dickensian novels-of revolutions In London and France and also the notorious retort of Marie Antoinette-a queen in Europe to shout out-give them cake-when told of the hungering poor with no bread to eat-such was the blindness of eye-deafness of ear and dullness of heart at one point in history
is this history repeating itself-in what we see around the globe?
With sufficient food-wealth and resources-to go round in the world-why should there be poverty-malnutrition-misery and squalor-as we witness in this scheme of the present economic system where the excess produced by one section of the world economy is dumped to avoid a price dip-maintaining the supply to balance the existing demand
if that is not dullness of heart-deafness of ear and blindness of eye-what is?
Is it a wonder that a class called the filthy rich came into being-pleasurably trod-ding on the helpless poor?
Such a filthy society burst at its seams eventually with dawn of the communist manifesto authored by Karl Marx trying to wipe off inequality in society
communism born of this manifesto made inroads to several European countries-ruling the roost especially in certain countries where private entrepreneurship was disbanded with assets acquired by the state-and the free will of the peoples acquiesced to the will of the party
eventually communist economy too burst at the seams-though for reasons different-reasons-which the writer opines as-the spirit of man soaring beyond physical matter and urged on in entrepreneurship and spirituality both not encouraged by communism-with spirituality being termed-opium of the people!
these once extremist countries now go along with private enterprises under the eagle eye of the communist party
all intentions of economic theorists-coming down from Marx onwards have not been a success in making the economic soup palatable-what with societal unrest bouncing up every now and then
amidst the rough and tumble of society with many an economic theory-one voice has been consistently heard loud and clear and that is from the officialdom of the Popes spanning over a period of two thousand years
In 1891 Pope Leo xiii spoke on capital and labor and thereon all Popes have touched on this subject-emphasizing poverty and inequality
Present Pope Francis highlighted the plight of the poor by exhorting all-to meet the poor by going out from their comfortable zones-to a wounded creation that suffers from a distorted exploitation of the earth’s resources for the enrichment of a few-while misery is created for many all over the world-due to greedy acquisition by a few
How did inequality arise is a million-dollar question to be pondered-but we know that free entrepreneurship arose due to various talents-endowments and industriousness of individuals in society-and this being an inherent gift-cannot be plundered from or snatched away from an individual
All the Popes down the line have touched on this subject that reflects one reverberating theme and that is what Christ admonished-to-love thy neighbor as thy self-easy to read but difficult to perform!
to emphasize this admonition Christ warned people that-at the point we pass on from this life to eternity-there will be a judgement and the statement we will have to face is this-
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Mt 25:35-36).
And if your answer to this is in the affirmative-you will receive your-Great Reward if not-the Great Punishment
Of course-the aforesaid statement will receive the Great Scoff by some-who have been drilled for it-but some others-may ponder!
For all that means is-that if several listen to this message-there will be less poverty and less inequality-off our own free will-without levelling it down to an undefinable-Proletariat!
Oscar E V Fernando