"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Friday, June 22, 2012

Is it Poverty? Part 1

I had a conversation with one of my siblings the other day that really made me think. The media has bombarded us with images of what life is to be, all the while photoshopping whatever is needed to have the 'perfect image.'  During this election season we have been and will continue to have politicians standing behind the poor and what needs to be done.  The Occupy Movement, which has been applauded by some in the Left, including the White House, is an entire movement calling foul to those that have to balance with the 99% that supposedly don't.

As an American in the 21st century I cry foul.  I wish to know when it was acceptable to covet what another had? Or in non-religious terms when did our society stop understanding the saying the grass is greener on the other side of the fence? Meaning that the other side of the fence always looks better, but in reality it was no different than the side of the fence you were on.

Through photos I would like to take you through some things..and then ask a few questions, so be sure to go to the end.
Is one poor because they like something and although they cannot buy it new have figured out how to make themselves this item?

Is one poor because they can built a house for chickens using campaign signs, that are then painted into a mural?

Is one poor because they saw potential in someone else's castoffs?

Is one poor because they grow their own foods? Or are they poor because they grow them in old tires that must be recycled in some measure?

 Is one poor because they cannot afford lovely throws for their sofa but they can afford yarn to make the throw themselves?

Is one poor because they desired a kitchen that had a farmhouse feel and repurposed a 1950's sink to do so?

Is one poor because they deconstruct items that are sold, so they can make them...as it it far less expensive? (this is a photo of ingredients in Mole)

Is one poor because they created something to eliminate that all to embarrassing situation of running out of tp when it is most needed?

Is one poor because they make a large portion of their personal care products at home?

Is one poor because they see old and broken as something awaiting a fresh coat of paint?

Is one poor that has the world at their fingertips?(look beyond the 2009 goof troop photo)

Is one poor because they understood that the exterior of an item may be bruised and in need of covering, but the appliance still works wonderful?

Is one poor that has these jars and knows how to refill them year after year? 

Is one poor because they work with their hands?

Is one poor because they patch an item instead of spending valuable money on new?

Is one poor because they bring the world to their doorsteps in such a manner?

Is one poor because this is the method used to heat their home?

Is one poor because the heating method to warm a home is $5 a cord and that the wood used is deadfalls? 

What is the answer to these questions? What is your answer to these questions?
The Occupy Movement would like you to believe that having the items above make you poor and deserving of more.
The media would like you to believe that having these items suggest perhaps you may be married to a near relative or that you are in need of a home makeover.
Some may say that this is a misrepresentation of poverty.

And the government would offer programs to this family.

 My question for this post titled Is this Poverty? Part 1 is:

Is this poverty?
Read the rest of the series on poverty~
Is This Poverty Part 2
Is This Poverty Part 3


debbieo said...

Your post reminded me of this story.
Through the eyes of a child
“One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, ‘How was the trip?’

’It was great, Dad.’

‘Did you see how poor people live,’ the father asked.

‘Oh yeah,’ said the son.

‘So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip,’ asked the father.

The son answered:
‘I saw that we have one dog and they had four.’

‘We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.’

’We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.’

‘Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.’

‘We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.’

‘We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.’

‘We buy our food, but they grow theirs.’

‘We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.’

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, ‘Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.’”
You are rich indeed. Most important of all is that you have a savior and thats all you really need.


Humble wife said...

Debbie-that is why this is part 1...Part 2 is your conclusion! What a wonderful story!! Thanks for sharing!

Kris Watson said...

Is it poverty, or is it wisdom?

Susan said...

1/2 of the "battle" (and I really hate to even call it that) is in our minds and in our perceptions. If any one of us could spend just a week in MOST of the world we would realize how wealthy we are - materially. But true wealth is not measured in "things" but in love, joy, peace, satisfaction, family, friends, a close walk with God.....I could go on and on.

Humble wife said...

Kris- your comment goes along with part 2 also. You see as man we have distorted truth and what is up is down and vise versa!

Susan-amen. As one who has lived elsewhere-and also one that lives so close to the southern border and the shanty towns...I have seen poverty. What we define as poverty in the US well ties in with part 2.

Mrs.Rabe said...

Great post, Jen.

It is not poverty. I have been saying for years that everyone is trying to live like celebrities and the wealthy but on a much smaller income. That is why we have so much debt and parents trying to give their kids everything and not teaching them to work for it has all contributed to this view that we must have (fill in the blank) or it's not fair!!!

We have chosen to opt out of many things that are seen as 'must haves' in our culture. We enjoy a rich and full life.

Also I love the story of your first commenter!

Can't wait for part 2!


Humble wife said...

Deanna-you are correct! We have been projected an image of celebrities and their wealth and abuse this. The wealth they have is first-from us...and our choosing to view them, secondly a hamper in reality as the wealth they have leads to a very non life with the tabloids capturing everything. They must buy a body(through augmentations)and the love and relationships are fleeting.

Opting out is not only amazing but to be blunt so easy. Why pay those that lie the most in our society? Up is indeed down and down is up...which all leads to part 2...opting out is huge in part 2!! ps...I will include Debbie's comment in part 2 as it is truly a wonderful story!

kymber said...

dear sweet friend - i guess i will have to be the first to say that your kind of poverty is my kind of dream!!! we just finished putting up the saddest-looking bean/pea trellis in the world - made from junk that jambaloney got out of the garbage and fallen trees from our land. soon i'll be at a place where i can decorate things the way that you do - i love the way you decorate! for now - i am in a crap-ass cottage, living on a very fixed income that i earned over 22 years and loving every single minute of it!

i love being poor! your friend,
(great post, btw!)

Patti said...

Definitely wisdom.....and good stewardship.

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Not poverty, just called using ones brain to live better on less!

Vickie said...

No, not poor at all - instead, rich with knowledge of how to take care of oneself! That wealth you can't really put a price on!

Rocky Mountain Homemaker said...

Great post, Jen. Sometimes I think one who doesn't have the skills to make do is truly poor!........Denise

mallardhen said...

They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, same with proverty just depends who is looking. Why do people have to try to clone each other I have family members who by todays standards are considered wealthy but in their home I see no compassion, charity, or respect not only for others but for themselves; but most of all I see no love none for themselves or each other but most of all I see no love for Our Lord and all he has created for us.

Wealth or proverty is what you make of it and how you allow it to exist in your life; I have found that making do and putting by will never leave you wanting as long as Our Lord is a constant part of your household. Believe and it will happen.

Gayle said...

I'm a bit in tears now. You are rich beyond wildest dreams. I wish I had been as diligent in raising my own children. I have so much more in my heart to say, but cannot find the words. You are amazing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenn,
I get so frustrated by the hypocrisy of people & companies who push being "environmentally aware" and want me to trash what I have to purchase their "green product."
I get frustrated by people who "go hybrid" but don't compost.
I get frustrated when service people throw entire parts assemblies at problems but will not, or cannot pinpoint what one little piece is wrong, or tell me my car can't be fixed because it is "too old".

Humble wife said...

Kymber-I confess we too have had many of the saddest looking things while we master repurposing or making do...and I know you know, that when time allows, it is improved upon! I am loving every minute too. My post evoked so many more thoughts than I could have imagined and will add part 2 to cover the responses and Is this(really) Poverty!

Patti-So leads to Part to wisdom and stewardship~sounds like the Book reference


Vickie-and part 2 will share the priceless of priceless!

Mallard-you have basically written Part 2! Amen!!!

(((Gayle))) right back at you, my friend! I am not amazing. I am the average American that comes loves this land and sees how the pioneers set the tone and appreciates the value in that tone. I want you to know that this post is NOT a reflection upon any other in what they are or are not doing. This is a post with a specific purpose of challenging stereotypes set by entities that do not have the vested interest of any. Part 2 is going to bring things back into focus...

Liz-Hypocrites. That is what those that do not have our interest at heart are. Part 2 is coming and I am happy that you shared as you have given me another idea ((hugs)))

Glenn B said...

When the government redistributes 'the wealth', can I have some of 'your poverty' instead.

All the best,

Humble wife said...

Glenn-Of course...with your skills and training you would be a tremendous asset! :) By the way the redistribution is and has been going on~sad for us.

lotta joy said...

A wealthy man knows how to use his land to feed his family. A wealthy woman knows how to use the great wealth to do so.

I just wish yarn wasn't so expensive.

Humble wife said...

Oh Lotta Joy...I shop the thrift stores for the yarn and our supercenter has the(Most likely cheap) yarn for 2.33 a skein. This is kind of affordable but the granny square quilt now makes the thrifting yarn more usable!

ProudHillbilly said...

So NOT poor! Rich in many ways!

American doesn't know poor. I got my first dose of actual poverty when working in Central America - I had never seen actual poor until then.

Humble wife said...

Hilbilly, I agree...and I too have seen true poor when we lived abroad and when we traveled south of the border.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear one...you said it so well. Thank you and remind us often! I thank you

Humble wife said...

Anonymous-thank you for taking the time to read this!