Sat. Jun 12th, 2021

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No! Poverty Is Not A Synonym For Humility By Nnedinso Ogaziechi

4 min read

There is an amazingly weird societal analogy about wealth, comfort and poverty. It is often assumed that once a person or family is or are poor, they are humble. It does not help that some misunderstand the biblical parable about riches and the rich and the parable Jesus told about the camel finding it easier to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man entering the kingdom of God.

In the usual human way, most ill-informed and often sadistic individuals tend to mock any rich individual while delusionally feeling that at least even if they are not comfortable here on earth, they will have an edge over the rich individual who in their view, represents the ‘rich’ in Jesus’ parable.

They quickly forget that Jesus praised the Good Samaritan and the widow that gave all she had ( widow’s mite) was not a rich woman but was kind and generous. Mary Magdalene was not a Princess bu wiped Jesus’ feet with her her and expensive oil. I feel a lot of quackery goes on in most third world interpretation of Bible verses and it appears to be worse in Africa where religion especially the Christian religion accommodates a lot of charlatans as preachers without restraint…( matter for another day).

And so, in a country like Nigeria, religion comes with multiple of socio-political nuances. If we remember what Karl Marx said about religion being the opium of the masses, we may begin to understand why merchants in religious houses are very successful in manipulating the minds of most of their followers…the promise of prosperity and miracles to usher in the prosperity… reason Nigerians will close factories and turn the building into a church and thousands get into pray for jobs and the owners have private jets and live in luxury.

So there is a huge hypocrisy, people mock rich people but go to pray to be rich on earth or in the hereafter. They despise rich people no matter how legitimate their sources of wealth are but still go to them for assistance and if they are not helped, they give them names and pray their wealth disappears. Funny.

The most amazing misconception of humility comes with relationships especially with men. There is always the wrong belief that ladies from poor backgrounds are bound to be better wives, So most men try to marry ladies from poor backgrounds or who appear poor by not owning much of the assumed ‘luxury items like lands, houses and luxury cars. For most of these men, they go off to marry from villages and settle for ladies they never knew just so they can ‘submit’ to their egos. The statistics of marital conflicts, divorces and homicides especially with those in the diaspora say all we want to know about this.

So the mindset of ‘poor is humble’ steadily sticks out in our social settings. It is reason any disagreement between a rich and poor man sees more people blaming the rich. A reckless commercial motorcycle rider can break all traffic laws but if a man with a luxury car or just any car hits him in the recess chances are the car driver might get a mob lynching. That is why most social cases are often mob-judged in favour of the poorer of two people.

But today, I feel there must be an introspection. That domestic help, that roadside welder, that carpenter, that nanny might just be a nasty human and out to cheat, harm and or humiliate his or her boss because they know the societal mob would do the lynching for them while they hope to be in their positions….reason religious houses are filled to the brim and in every nook and cranny of the country.

I guess relationships might be better when people go with their social class except in the rare cases of sound character from the lower class and I’m not talking of any group here. It is just the need to find out who a person is and not assume that lack of material possessions equals humility and good character. It is a flawed analogy.

People must look beyond material possession to analyze a human being. There are rich nasty and kind people and there are poor people who are mean and narcissistic and there are poor people who are amazingly kind too. It is just human nature. It is your duty to step back and check for the values you admire and not equate humility with a poor family or person. There is more to humans than their material resources or lack of same.

Personally I have met more wealthy but humble humans than poor and humble people. I know more than to look at some possessions outside your being. That is what makes a human, your very inner core! Most people do not have a soul! They lack grace and empathy…

Their lack is the greatest poverty on earth. Poverty of the mind! They are a scourge to our world and they are all around us all.

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