It is a common habit and practice of unsuccessful men, failures, the less endowed and the susceptible to attribute their lots to a strange inescapable hand of fate. The numerous disappointments and misfortunes that dock their steps and impede their progress and success in life is attributed to or supposed to have being wreaked by a vindictive force or entity. Or ascribed to be the handiwork of a jealous god of love, or the machinations and manipulations of a devil who will culminate his ruthless and brutal assault on immature brains, by eventually dragging them by virtue of their irreparable and unpardonable indulgences in sinful acts to the eternal flames of hell fire.
The less credulous, less superstitious with refined predilections, enlightened, endowed with analytical propensities, cynical in their outlook and may have in their intellectual aberrations and purposeless wanderings for personal gratification around the academic walls encounter the hulking Thomas of Cartesian doubt theory and taught that they are rational animals will quickly refute such traditional passive acceptance of such abstract believes and idiosyncrasies and replace it with philosophical concepts gleaned from the speculative thoughts and wanton judgments of philosophers who were oblivious to their fates and pretended to be unaware of the fallacies, inadequacies and the erring nature of their senses, and gave with authority prescriptions for the depraved world to follow in a bid to make it better at least.
Those armed with academic riffles, and taught to analyze with logical tools any idea or concepts they may encounter, would quickly reduce to the doldrums of simplicity and primitivism bordering on illiterate precociousness, such claims about the determinants of the success of life. They will wrestle with their hither to unproven theories, and come to the conclusion that to be successful is to stir ones capabilities, seek for quality education, strive hard. They are full of high sounding ideals and intelligence, creativity and capability in its latent state should be given immense efforts and decided impetus to awaken the dormant instincts in us and we are sure to hit upon the threshold of success. Those who believe that their fates are irrevocable are relegated with dismissive terms like fatalists – they believe that their very existence is predestined and predetermined by an invisible hand and whatever ill that will befall them is determined already.
Is adversity, poverty and squalor a boon or a curse? Most people will accept without qualms the injunction of the old adage that a heart that is schooled in adversity naturally becomes ennobled. It attains a sublime level and becomes capacious and absorbing and well adapted to deal with unsavory situations that would have broken the heart of optimist and snapped the mind of the thoughtful.
Poverty with its ugly and filthy semblance of abstraction is a portentous wretch, a hooligan with the mask of anarchy and chaos, a cruel master who takes everything from its victims and leave them to languish in hunger and sorrow and to continually curse their fate and to repent for having been born into this unjust world of woes and tribulations. Poverty is such a potent adversary of the human race that not even the hardcore fatalists or the promulgators of determinism able to accept it as his presence in our midst predestined. It is a bitter pill to swallow. Where poverty rears its ugly head, all theories and beliefs die. There is a unanimous concussion that it is a destructive disease that must be eradicated in the society with immediate effects.
But then it becomes easy to sing about the virtues of poverty. It is the majestic conqueror and chastiser who sublimates the faith of the religionist. Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. And in certain religious prescriptions, men are enjoined to renounce the material fripperies of the world and live in perpetual penury coupled with rigid asceticism for that is the only way that can ensure their spiritual growth. To attain spiritual ecstasy, men with religious fervor are made to live like mendicants. Certainly it would be difficult for rich men to enter the kingdom of God. It is only when they renounce the world and give their worldly riches to the poor that they will enter the kingdom of god.
Even though most people are apt to admit that to be poor is synonymous to living in hell, they are still ready to point out the good qualities of poverty. Biblical Job epitomizes the quintessential example of “from riches to rags and from rags to riches” Many people have since the dawn of history being awed by the phenomenon or abstraction called poverty. How can one come to terms with the fact that some have more than enough – able to satisfy their desires by just mentioning it and like a magical invocation or spell cast they get it at once. And some too have barely enough to eat and life to such unfortunate products of fate a bitter struggle for survival.
There are many people who wouldn’t hesitate to admit that the present successes they have chalked in their various endeavors came as a result of hard work and perseverance. They will bring to bear childhood memories riddled with numerous escapes and adventures in poverty. They will relate with nostalgic pride how because they were born into poor homes they were spurred by enthusiasm and determination to overcome that monster of eternal retrogression. They will tell you that they were once poor but now they are rich and that they prefer riches to poverty. But they are always quick to acknowledge the fact that poverty one way or the other helped them to see and understand the world better and guided them to make the right decision that resulted in their material success. So poverty served as a deep philosophical inspiration and motivation for them one time but still a dangerous force to reckon with. Others too drunk with religious frenzy will tell you that it was when they renounced riches that they were able to attain inner peace and fulfillment. To be rich they will tell you is fraught with pains and agonies. They will tell you it is not easy to maintain that status as one has to constantly live in strife guarding the money with alacrity. Scheming on how one can properly invest and maintain balance so as to retain it.
So the issue of poverty and riches from all indications a complex subject to handle. One intriguing thing about the two is that they are abstract concepts and this also make the two concepts analyzable. Depending on how one understands and view the two, it is a matter of attuning ones mental faculties to any of them and utilizing them to ones benefit. So this leaves us with the faint notion that there is nothing like poverty or riches but how one can identify the potency even of evil concepts with negative aura and using it to ones benefit. Again we are left with a new concept. That is utilitarianism. There is nothing like good or bad but thinking makes it so. If in the cause of application of any of the concepts or ideas one becomes successful, then it is good. But if it turns out to be the opposite, its effect far from beneficial, then it becomes bad.
There is a strong argument and social reality that seems to refute the argument of poverty been an abstract concoction of idle gluttons. Governments efforts worldwide to eradicate and when it becomes impossible alleviate poverty seems to belie any argument that there are beneficial elements in poverty. Once they have identified poverty as making the world a bitter place to live and the earlier they eradicate or alleviate it the better. That is absolutely commendable. That governments have detected that they are there for the people and they have realized that there is so much disparity, there is inequality and injustice in the world and would act as bulwarks to protect the weak and the poor. Assist the less endowed and empower the powerless. That is certainly an exceptional idea and policy that we must encourage and see to it that it comes to pass. Job regains his former status Amen.
I will urge all those who believe in the supreme qualities of poverty as giving them inspiration to stop singing praises about the diseases because governments have recognized that the disadvantages of poverty far outweighs the advantages and are ready to combat it. They will call job to rail against poverty and curse the day the canker was born. Why should job be appointed minister of poverty affairs. Because he knows everything about the wretch. Job stayed with it for long and he is reputed to be the greatest poverty stricken man on earth and as if that was not enough he was also inflicted with sores all over his body!
But there is a secret one of the companions of job whispered in my ears. I had wanted to keep it to myself but for the benefit of the poor and powerless in our midst who will soon become rich men by the courtesy of the generous policies of governments, I will reveal it. The companion of job said. If government cannot eradicate illiteracy, inequality, injustice, social vices, corruption, nepotism and tribalism. If governments cannot protect the interest of the weak nor guard their meager share, if governments cannot curb vicious and exploitive policies of egocentric men, self seekers and selfish men. When there is uneven distribution of social amenities and the bulk are engulfed by horrendous deprivation and left to languish in disadvantageous positions? With all these social dilemmas entrenched and towering like the tower of Babel. Surely governments can alleviate poverty. They can do it and we look forward to that day when every one would be equal and there wouldn’t be class distinctions. Where we shall all be entitled to the same social privileges and opportunities. The day that poverty would be completely eradicated from the surface of the earth.