Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Poor and the Rich

Who are the poor?  They aren't just people who are hungry or house-less or dirty. They are people who are seen as being socially inadequate  because of their poverty.  They are the people who are called "lazy" and "untrustworthy" and "hopeless" because of various social factors, but partly because they are hungry or house-less or dirty.

Who are the wealthy?  There are lots of different definitions of that.  They are the people who not only aren't hungry, but they don't ever have to wonder where their food and housing and clothing is going to come from.  They can't be measured simply by income, but by the confidence with which their maneuver through their society.  Some people, even if they don't have much financially can be powerful in their cultural circles.

The poor envy the wealthy.  This isn't always true, but it is true enough to make it a force in any society. The poor want the prestige and resources and wealth and power that wealth accumulates.  Many of them think that if they win the lottery or obtain money by some other magical means that they would be of the wealthy.  That simply isn't true.  This doesn't mean the poor must live an impoverished existence.  Absolutely not.  Most people have the possibility of having all of their needs met.  But having money doesn't make one wealthy.

The wealthy distrust the poor.  They think that they use their resources badly.  They believe that their power and abundant resources come from hard work and that they deserve all they obtain.  They don't realize that most of their resources comes from luck-- the luck of birth, the luck of relationship, the luck of personality traits that work toward a narrow minded concept of success.  They think that anyone could do what they have done.  They don't understand the social barrier that keeps the poor from having enough resources to live on.

The poor need the wealthy.  They need the resources that the wealthy provide.  Not just the money, but the relationships, the jobs, the social know-how, the education, the authority that comes of being wealthy.  With these resources, the poor might no longer be poor.  

The wealthy need the poor.  The wealthy think they need no one, but they need people to focus on details so they can focus on bigger projects.  The wealthy need to use their resources for others so that their compassion and empathy may grow into a full human soul.  They need the poor to grant them the joy of giving to those truly in need. 

The poor would like the wealthy, if they got to know them.  The wealthy are nice people, if perhaps a little naive about real life.  

The wealthy would trust the poor, if they got to know them.  The poor are hard working, friendly people.

We need to get these people together. 

No comments: