Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Random Thoughts about Rich and Poor

There’s a strange idea that floats around that one cannot be rich and good at the same time. It’s almost like there is a despising of too much money because it will inevitably lead one to not be good.

Most people row feverishly for the ever retreating shoreline of financial security and some even throw in a few good deeds to soothe their conscience. The reality is that the best part of their day is consumed with jobs that they would never do if they were rich.

The poor and the middle class work for money while the rich work at whatever they want.

The middle class sometimes throw out a few crumbs to the poor to ease their conscience and help the poor remain poor.

It is a rare situation for someone in the middle class that believes that hard work and a decent education are the means through which someone will gain security, would ever pay for a poor person’s education. They believe the poor need an education but they themselves don’t have the resources to truly make a difference in their lives.

The fact that 35,000 children die every day because of war and malnutrition hardly fazes those who are struggling just to make their next dental payment.

Are working class people, including supposedly well off professionals, free? Do they hop on a plane whenever they feel like it to volunteer in the aids epidemic in Africa? Do they do anything about the current genocide that is happening in Kenya? Of course not, they’re busy working on their own security.

The Bible says, “the love of money” is the root of all kinds of evil. It’s interesting that it doesn’t say the love of riches is the root of evil as some people seem to interpret this passage. Money definitely controls people lives and it seems that it controls the poor and the upscale professionals on a regular basis.

Have you ever considered that slavery is alive and well, it is simply clothed in nice houses and nice cars. Generally people do not do what they want with their day. They are told when to show up and when to go home, what clothes they can wear, who they should work with and some are even told when they can go pee.

In a moment they can get fired, downsized, or passed over but let’s leave those little nagging bits of reality out of the discussion about the altruistic dream of financial security.

Definitely don’t talk about being rich because that would mean you’re greedy.

Of course a rich man doesn’t have to use his riches to help others. But he could if he chose to.

Do the poor and the middle class have the same options?


Jamie A. Grant said...

The idea that someone cannot be rich and good at the same time may seem strange to you, but I've heard many people preach this as gospel truth...

David Grant said...

There are two human responses to a threat. Fight or flight.

Jesus responded with another way of turning the other cheek.

I think this can be applied to the issue of money. Some people fear being some greedy, rich guy consumed with money and therefore run from having it. That doesn't mean they are free from the love of money.

They are simply being controlled by their fear and judgement of rich people. Because they are poor they are able to hide this fact from themselves while at the same time looking like they are being humble to others.

Robin Cecile said...

This discussion reminds me of an old saying. "Money will make a good man better and a bad man worse" Where we get lost is when we think that it is about the money.