By now we must all agree that poverty is truly global. We can not go on with the illusion that poor people live in poor countries and rich people live in rich countries.
The fact is that the poor are everywhere, both in so-called poor countries and in so-called rich countries. They are all suffering.
The cause of global poverty is the thoughtless trapping and destruction of resources.
Friends, this thoughtless trapping and destruction of resources is not something going on out there, far away from us. This is going on very much in our own midst. We are doing it. Until we understand this and change, global poverty will not be alleviated.
When Arun Gandhi, one of Gandhiji's many grandchildren, was around thirteen, he spent a few months with Gandhiji at his ashram. Though Gandhiji was, as you can imagine, very busy, he spent an hour each day instructing the young Arun. The lessons were practical, immediate, and unforgettable.
One day Arun was walking to the ashram on the road and absentmindedly tossed the tiny little stub of the pencil that he used each day into the bushes. He thought no more of it until his daily lesson with his grandfather. Gandhiji had a way of getting young Arun to recount his day for him, turning daily living into a living laboratory of lessons. When Arun reported tossing the pencil stub, Gandhiji interrupted the lesson. Arun was to leave at once and scour the long road for the missing pencil stub, returning only when he had found the pencil. For young Arun it was like looking for a needle in a haystack! It took him two hours of diligent searching to find it.
When Arun returned to his lesson his grandfather explained to him that everything contains resources and how we interact with things can cause poverty or abundance.
When we take any action without thought we do not recognize the dignity value inherent in every thing. Any kind of thoughtless action is thus violent.
When we throw things away thoughtlessly we destroy resources. After all everything contains resources, so when we thus destroy resources we lower values by not recognizing the dignity value of things being tossed. I may think that something is 'used up' and hence worthless (like the pencil stub) but it will be of use to someone else somewhere. When I throw it away I take it away from the person who could have used it causing that person poverty. In my action I am not recognizing the inherent value of the item, its dignity value, and by my thoughtless action am causing poverty. This is what is meant by the thoughtless destruction of resources.
When we thoughtlessly own things that we do not use, we trap resources. Since everything contains resources, our action of holding on to things we do not use -- our houses, possessions, wealth, anything unused -- we artificially raise values above their dignity values. We think that we 'value' these things since we own and hold on to them but in reality since we don't use these things, we trap the resources contained in them. I don't use these things but I don't let others use them who would use them everyday. In this way I am thoughtlessly stealing resources away from those who would use them.
If we can be thoughtful in our actions we can create abundance everywhere.
Firstly, instead of throwing things away that have no use for us, we can recognize that everything has dignity value and that someone somewhere would have a use for almost anything that we possess. We can give such things away to those who would use them.
Secondly, instead of owning and keeping things that we do not use, we can give away such possessions to people who would recognize and respect the inherent dignity values of these things and importantly, use them.
If the cause of global poverty is the thoughtless trapping and destruction of resources, the cure is the thoughtful release and circulation of resources. Abundance is available to us everywhere. God did not create us to suffer. We, that is, each and every one of us, needs to change how we live, and if we do, we can have more abundance than we can imagine!
Every ancient faith affirms that and so do our hearts if we but listen.
Posted by Abhay Burjor Ghiara at 10/14/2017