What It Means To Be POOR!

Excellent letter to the editor in the Jamaica Star today.


The Bible says: "Whosoever much is given, much is expected." The prime minister is one of the most powerful men in the society. He has supreme power and much is expected of him. He is like a shepherd leading a flock of sheep.

On the other hand, the members of parliament who sit in the House of Representatives and those who are members of the Cabinet have great responsibility and political power. Therefore, good example, good administration, honesty and sincerity are the main things that will make them successful and will result in good governance. The people look up to them for guidance, good leadership and trustworthiness.

While no one is perfect, it is sad, alarming and embarrassing when members of parliament and politicians are dishonest. It is very sad and disappointing when people we look up to have their hands dirty, and are involved in bribery. And this leads me to the next point.

No wonder many people hold on to their belief that poverty is a crime - a serious one at that. But I have good news for them, good news for all those who are feeling unhappy, isolated and depressed because they are poor. Poverty is not a crime. And this is a fact, not an opinion.

Poverty is not a crime
The Bible did not say that poverty is a crime. And Jesus was one of the poorest men in this world, yet He was the richest, if you know what I mean. Listen to what Jesus said in St Luke 9 verse 58: "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head."

A crime is an action that breaks the law. How then can poverty be a crime? If it was, millions of people throughout the world would be arrested and sent to prison.

Poverty contributes to crime, and many are stealing, killing and are involved in all manner of evil because they are poor and have a negative mindset. But they don't have to steal; they have a choice. There is an alternative to poverty. No one has to steal because he or she is poor.

Poverty comes in different ways too. For example, a poor educational background. And there is spiritual poverty - the worst kind. Even the wisest and richest man, King Solomon, knew it. This is what he said in Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verse 2 and 3. "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. What profit has a man from all his labour in which he toils under the sun?" Poor mannerism is also seen as poverty.

Do you remember these words: "If you want to feel rich, count all the things you have that money can't buy."

I am, etc.,
Donald Jefferson McKoy
St Catherine

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