What Happens When A Wealthy Woman Took Her Daughter To See The Poor People’s Life
A young girl is exposed to a life of subsistence farming for the first time and is able to see soil, water, and sunlight not as commodities to be expended but as a gift to be tended and passed on. The child discovers that the purpose of life is not to be entertained but to nourish those around her. Finally, a child understands deeply that the act of growing things is an indication of abundance, not of poverty.
It must be said that the novelty of doing something new, combined with the sadly human tendency to view that which is our normal (house, apartment, diet, or wardrobe) to be not quite enough, the idea that a little girl might long for a chance to revisit her “poor” hosts and enjoy time in the fresh air and on the good earth is heart-warming, but not terribly surprising. However, the lesson taught by this child is not only one of a new perspective. She is also teaching us to hold the skills of poverty in a place of high regard.
While doing without money can be a challenge, functioning effectively without much cash can be a terrific catalyst for creative growth. How many items come into your life that are quickly discarded? Can they be repurposed, reimagined, reconfigured for a new application or purpose? An old jar becomes a place to store buttons in a pretty and functional way. A bucket with a hole in the bottom is not a great tool for storing water, but a bucket hung by the handle can be a great spot to grow cherry tomatoes upside down. Stale bread becomes bread pudding. Sour milk makes a great chocolate cake. When a grandmother teaches a child how to select the very best dandelion greens for a salad, the gift of that lesson lasts much longer than those lemony greens.
From kitchen to a carport, breaking away from the constant mind chatter of modern living and really thinking about what you have and what you need is a great way to let cash poverty send your creative functioning through the roof!
Poverty, as indicated by a lack of money in the bank, is not the only form of want in the world. A poverty of ideas, of support for anyone trying something new, and of empathy and compassion can do as much or more damage than a simple lack of money. A child with the latest toy but nobody to read to her may grow up without the desire to study and try to better understand the world in which she lives. A child with the very best schooling may lack the chance to enjoy enchantment in the natural world or that wondrous time of discovery in which hours and minutes vanish. A child blessed with a constant, hovering guide or caregiver may never learn what it is to be content in their own company. Learning to dig into and gain full value from all the available assets in life (including libraries, museums, parks, and other venues that are often available for no cash investment) is a tremendous step on the road to contentment.
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Gathering up all the stuff that’s wanted, that’s needed, and that’s desired can lead to a house full of unappreciated stuff. However, digging into the abundance in your life and dwelling in the enjoyment of that abundance is not to be condemned as hedonism, but celebrated as frugality. To gain full value from your experiences, the brilliance of your friends, the love of your family and the gifts of our good earth is the wise usage of the gifts given to each person.