How poor are you really?

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be. 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 can be?” the father asked.

“Oh Yeah” said the son.

“So 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.”

With this the boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are.”

Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don’t have. What is one person’s worthless object is another’s prize possession. It is all based on one’s perspective. Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for all the bounty we have, instead of worrying about wanting more.

19 responses to “How poor are you really?

  1. Very well said .. We sometimes forget ..

    I was brought up and my Dad would always say Look at the people who are below you and enjoy what you have …


  2. Good Morning people,

    Couldn’t agree more Aneesa and Bikram. The world says “reach for the stars” but never tells you the impact of your actions. We strive to build big houses, drive flash cars, tell others our kids go to private school, yet we forget no matter how hard you kill yourself to “own the world”, there is always someone bigger then you, there is no end to this road of greed.

    Learn in life to be contempt. If this month you can buy something extra then the basics, then first Thank God for this, treasure that moment.

    We live in a “I WANT I WANT I WANT” culture and rarely do we “GIVE GIVE GIVE” back. It’s the giving that gives the most pleasure.

    If you love your family and they love and respect you back, then for me, you are the richest person in the world.

    • We were always brought up with the attitude to always look at what u have and not what u don’t have and be gratefull.
      We were very young when we lived in Pakistan for about a year and got to see what real poverty etc is… so i’ve always been aware of how lucky we are just to even be born in a country like this and have the opportunities we have .
      Even the simplest things of like our education we don’t appreciate while people in other countries struggle to pay to educate their kids…
      These days no one is taught to appreciate the simple things in life.. it’s all about having the best of everything and the latest gadget on the market…
      Sometimes i wonder if parents don’t realise what monsters they are creating..

      • Sometimes such are the “social pressures” that some parents continue to struggle to ensure their kids have the latest “gizmo’s”. They don’t want them feeling left out, which I think is nonsense.

        Greed leads to the need to provide at all costs, which leads to people living beyond their means, which in turn leads to financial pressure and burden.

        Set the expectation, don’t over-promise, make it an incentive. Kids growing up need to understand that in the Big Bad World, everything works on incentives and you got to do something in order to get something back, otherwise you are in for a shock!

        Have a nice day Aneesa.

        • I do understand what you mean by social pressure because they are tough to handle in any situation…

          we have it in our house too… we have a designer label freak who wont wear anything unless its got a label on it… and he’s a gadget freak too that must only have whats the latest on the market… he already has his money saved up for the new iphone 5… hes just sold his ipad ( which he only used for a month) to buy an imac

          but he knows he has to work for what he wants and wont get anything just handed to him on a plate… same with the rest of the kids… he counts his pennies and saves for everything… he complains that he doesn’t get anything from the adults in the house but he is told … we provide the basics … the luxuries you work for.. simple!

  3. Reality is relative, life is as we perceive it, you can always do better and you can always do better. The trick is to be grateful for what you have and strive for what you don’t

    • It’s not just about striving to get what you don’t have … it’s about knowing and showing your kids to be grateful for what you have managed to achieve and not forget those that are less fortunate… and it not being all about I want! I want! I want!

      I think there are too many spoilt brats out there as there is…

      • That was supposed to say “you can always do worse and you can always do better” other then the word error, its more or less the same thing you said :p “I want” is also relative. “I want” so give me !!! is one thing and “I want” so I am going to go out do my best and get what I want, is again something else.

        That there are too many spoilt brats out there is NO doubt, but that part is more a lack of parenting than anything else

  4. To be honest Aneesa I couldn’t give a jot about what other people have as I have always been very happy with what I already have myself, not rich and not poor but somewhere in between… You know, so many people have tunnel vision these days, all they can see is what they want next…

    That is not my way at all…

    Have a lovely Friday 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

  5. Good post! I have often said that the definition of being poor is different for every one. My brother panics when he only has $1000 in the bank, I rejoice! I have never been very materialistic, or so I thought; until I lost everything, literally. As a single mom I had 50% equity in a 2800 sq ft home, retirement savings, etc, then the economy collapsed, I made a few poor choices and I lost it all including my credit rating. The next few years were a slippery slope into poverty. I felt sorry for myself for a while until I almost lost my brother and son.

    I got a call from my brother one day confessing he was a heroin addict and a few days later my son called to say he was addicted to Meth and Coke. They both went to rehab and they both ended up on the streets at the same time. My mom had the money to send my brother to the best rehab, I didn’t. My mother kept calling and crying about my brother; finally I said,”You know mom, I have a brother AND a son I am worried sick about” her reply,”But your brother has so much more to lose” I said,”how do you judge the value of a life?” She said “well, I meant your brother has so much stuff to lose, the house etc” it was a real eye opener for me about how my mom thinks and its true; she has always judged people by what they have.

    I am financially poor now, but feel rich in love and friendships and have my brother and son back. So many people are a paycheck away from homelessness, struggling to meet the mortgage payment, always striving for more. They define themselves and others by what they have instead of what they do. I am much more charitable, far less judgmental, and infinitely more grateful now that I have lost all my stuff.

    • I find that its in certain situations you really find out who has really got your best interests at heart.. who is really your friend and who isn’t…

      there are 2 of those mostly…
      1 when you are in serious trouble or in bereavements
      2 when you are truly happy

      You will see who is there for you and helps you through your tough times and who is truly happy for you… coz it’s these 2 situations that can bring the worst out in people…

      I learnt that when i lost members of my family to death and when i suffered other problems too. i soon saw who my true friends were and who weren’t .. i appreciate them more than ever now

      I fell out with a friend a few years ago badly.. and when I heard she has passed her driving test.. i phoned to congratulate her.. even though we weren’t talking.. simply because i knew how much it meant to her and i was genuinely happy for her… when i had passed my test.. she let her green eye monster take over and couldnt even bring herself to congratulate me..

      I think as time goes on and we go through certain hardships we learn whats most important to us… and at the end of the day it’s not the materialistic things that we prize the most…

      Great to hear that you got your brother and son back… wish you all the best in life…

  6. Thank you Aneesa, I have found that the hardest part of being poor was not being able to help my son when he needed it.

    I was given the best gift ever this month because my son came home for a couple of weeks and I was in the position to help him. He is now gone again, working in his trade and happy but too far from home for my liking. But as a mom the best gift I can be given is the ability to help my son be all he can be. We all need a helping hand no matter how old we get.

    And we all need our mommy some time no matter how old we get. My heart goes out to you to have lost your parents at such a young age. You have a lot of weight on your shoulders, it must be very difficult.

    Last night I was at the memorial service of my neighbours son. He died in his sleep at 38 yrs old. They still don’t know why. She went to check on him because he wasn’t snoring and he had passed. It just shows how we have to cherish whatever time we have with the people we love because they can be gone in a blink of an eye.

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