The rich and poor man

There is a story that gets me thinking every time I read it. It is the common story of a rich man and a poor man. The rich man was always dressed in fine fabrics that cost a fortune, and his dining table garnished with sumptuous dishes that some can only dream about. The poor man sat outside the man’s pearly gate longing for the leftovers from the big man’s table, but even these, he could not get.
There are two elements that fascinate and intrigue me most about this poverty-stricken man. The first is that even though he got nothing, he stayed at the gate, hoping against hope that one day the big man would relent and have mercy upon him. If you like to view the glass as half full, you will like this beggar for his never-give-up attitude.
The second bit about him is disturbing. It has everything to do with his mindset. All day, he longed to eat the crumbs that fell from the opulent man’s table. This longing became an obsession that eventually locked out the man’s ability to think outside the box and find a way of fending for himself. Soon afterwards, he died, still a destitute. This is where I pause and consider. It is very dangerous to expect free things no matter your condition. That is why when I find a man without legs on the streets of Kampala mending shoes to put food on his table rather than beg, I lift my hat in maximum respect.
Poverty is a vicious animal that cannot be defeated through the folding of arms. There are principles to live by to beat it. Sadly, the two-word magic principle of “work hard” is being eclipsed by “work smart” which the inexperienced think is synonymous with quick fixes. They spend their days betting and squandering their little money in telecom promotions hoping to hit that jackpot that will solve all their financial woes. But if success was accessed like that, everyone in Kampala would be thriving.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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