“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” ~Nelson Mandela

Honestly, poverty is one word that I now think has the wrong definition. Its not lacking what you need and sleeping hungry because your broke. Leave alone those in disaster stricken areas, real poverty is not utilizing the resources available to you. My faith has grown so deep that I now know that being alive alone is reason enough to hustle my butt off.

We all go through stuff and life is unfair to us, but hitting a pothole, knocking a bump or wall doesn’t mean the end of the road. Real poverty is allowed by us through our limited thinking, less actions and lack of creativity or innovation. We tend to wait so much on others to make things happen for us, forgetting that it is us who really know what we want and the others will never know. They can only guess. Some of the habits or things that truly lead us into poverty include the following. You can add to the list, share your experiences. But these stand out for me.

Not reading

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” ~ W. Somerset Maugham

This habit has brought me so far, and taught me so much. Like I mentioned in my previous post My obsessions: Reading, it has availed me so many opportunities and exposed me to new worlds and cultures. Reading opens your mind and enables you to think broadly, which in turn could make you a fortune. There is a book for every idea or subject out there, you just have to find it and read it. The internet has all those notes, e-books are accessible and audio books also came to us. There is no excuse for not reading. And it’s a very worthy investment. The quote below summarizes it well;

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” Saint Augustine

Not travelling

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~ Andre Gide

Trevor Noah, a famous stand up comedian, in one of his shows in New York said that;

 Traveling is the antidote to ignorance, that’s so true. It changes your mind, your perspective, how you believe, what you believe.

This is so true indeed. You realize how small you are in a big beautiful and diverse world. Those who feel like they are the best in their communities and far greater than their peers haven’t seen anything yet. They just need to step out and they will appreciate the little they are. Travelling has shown me how privileged my life has been. In Karamoja, where people have never seen tarmac and men still walk half naked, with one village so many kilometers away from its neighbor and the only accessible food is posho and rice, I couldn’t thank God enough for the simple things like water flowing from my tap, electricity in my house, the phone in my hands and the clothes on my body. I appreciated life. Whenever you feel that life is unfair, travel to a less privileged town and you will appreciate what you have. If you think you are the best, there are places to humble you as well. Just step out that door and go where you have never been, where they don’t even speak your language and you will be thankful to your creator.
Being unteachable

“Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored.” ~ Proverbs 13:18

This is the worst form of poverty anyone can subject themselves to. No one knows everything and everyday is a day to learn something new or better than what you knew. You can learn from anyone; from the smallest baby to the eldest person you meet. It’s exciting to discover something new or a truth you didn’t know or simply more about something you know. When you despise certain forms of learning or shun some people as unworthy to teach you anything, you are subjecting yourself to an even greater deal of poverty than the one who has no food. At least they know they have no food but you do not know how poor you are if your unteachable, and you can never go far in life.

“The unteachable man is sentenced to being taught only by experience. The tragedy is he reaches nothing further than his own pain.” ~ Criss Jamie

Broken family ties and no friends

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty” ~ Mother Teresa

Ever heard of the saying; No man is an island? Yes, you can never do anything on your own. You need that bodaboda guy, you need that purified water to drink, you need that house built for you, you that plane flown so you can get to the next country and most certainly, you will need someone to marry and have a family with. Even in your sleep, you need someone maintaining your security.

We are advised to choose our friends wisely and to treat them fairly because in turn, they will do the same for us but you cannot choose your family. I know they can be a tricky lot to deal with and may give you a hard time for some but at the end of the day, you need their blessing no matter where you go. There are exceptions of course, but generally you have to always know what is happening with your family members, pray for them, check on them if you can. I have shared with a lady friend whose brothers continued to be so dependent on the family especially the sisters who were more ambitious and did their best to be better in life. In such a case, help, yes, but don’t over help them that they will not learn to do something for themselves. Help them find their own path in life, they will appreciate you even more. Like one saying goes;

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. 

Your network

“Your network is your net worth.” ~ Porter Gale

Am a living testimony of this. If it weren’t for the people in my life, including you who is reading this, I would not be here today. Friends have gone so far to make me confortable, strangers have given me counsel I can never thank them enough for and so many acquaintances who continue to pour wisdom in my life. The testimony is long but am grateful for the people in my life. The lessons both bitter and sweet are invaluable. I couldn’t be more grateful.

You too need to have those people who inspire the best in you. Whom you can learn from and even those you can teach or share with. They will take you to places you may have never thought you would ever reach and leave you with experiences so rich you will never be able to thank them. Sorround yourself with the right people and let go of those who hold you back.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” ~ African Proverb

Emotional intelligence

This is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection and influence.

“When our emotional health is in a bad state, so is our level of self-esteem. We have to slow down and deal with what is troubling us, so that we can enjoy the simple joy of being happy and at peace with ourselves.” — Jess C. Scott

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Need I say more?



Author: marihitta9

Writer, reader, mentor, learner and my own biggest fan.

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