Friday, November 9, 2012

Being Poor is Not a Virtue - It's Trends Evil

Where in the Bible or in Catholic doctrine does it say that being poor is a virtue?

Is there nobility in being poor?

Are individuals, families, neighborhoods, or cities better off if they are poor?

What advantage is there to being poor?

And yet the Catholic Church elevates the value of being poor, by assuming that poverty is inevitable and perhaps the goal attained.  The Church cares for the poor, like the government does. They GIVE stuff to people. That is caring, but it's not a real good example of caring.

A PREFERENCE FOR THE POOR must include a process, a path, and an education to accumulating wealth and self-sufficiency. Otherwise, IMHO, this "preference for the poor" is a bunch of crap. It is hypocrisy. It's self-perpetuating. It's evil. Gravely evil.

I acknowledge that some individuals are destined to be always poor. There are people that are not capable for any number of reasons of earning a living, keeping a job, or even getting out of bed without falling. I know that. But I'm not talking about such dear souls that exist so that we can learn to help those TRULY in need.

Instead, I'm talking about the otherwise capable, who need to be working at least 6 hours a day volunteering at ANYWHERE good, for the sake of raising their own dignity and improving their lives, and their community. Or, I'm talking about people that should take ANY job, even if it is boring or "beneath their dignity." Work, any work done well, creates personal dignity.

And there are those, in these camps that do feel victimized by society and so they are unmotivated to do anything but find ways to take from the producers, whom them feel owe them.

There is also such hate for those that are rich, that some poor avoid doing things that would help them out of poverty, because they don't want to be like the rich. Stupid thinking leads to a stupid life.

Over generalizations?


I've seen it up close and personal.

It's abhorrent, evil and destructive. 

If you hate poverty, start doing what the rich do. What do the rich do? 

The rich study the lives of immigrants that came to the U.S. with no money, and today are millionaires.

The rich have gleamed and practice those virtues of character that differentiate the poor from the rich and follow them.  Ben Franklin and his book of virtues comes to mind.

The rich have fostered in themselves values such as these:

1. Foster a personal value that accumulating money is good.  Don't love it. But without it you're poor. (See No. 4)
I know of people who claim to be champions of the poor, who avoid money like it was a plague. My conclusion is that they don't want to be seen by their poor friends as being like the rich, because that would destroy friendships. What a stupid idea. The Bible reminds us that the rich have friends, whereas the poor don't. 
2. Study the work habits and traits, not the hobbies, of the rich and replicate those work traits in your life.
I visited a subway restaurant one time in Detroit. It had just changed owners. It was busy, a long line. The staff was short handed. And what was the owner doing? He was making a sandwich for himself, disturbing the work flow, and then he left. Any smart store owner, seeing the line of customers, would have been working to help the customers, not himself. This was also the man who had parked illegally, blocking customer's direct to the shop from the parking lot.
3. Work 12-14 hours a day at improving your education, skills and earning potential. Do not stop at 8 or 10.

4. SAVE MONEY, don't spend it.
I know a stock broker who was born in abject poverty. As a teenager he lived in a very bad, crime ridden urban community. As a teen he worked several odd jobs, and started buying stock. He says his first stock was McDonald's because he liked their food. He became, in that small way, AN OWNER of McDonald's. He was frugal. He also purchased OLD, USED cars. And today he's a rich stock broker that spends 50% of his time volunteering to help the less fortunate. BUT he could not be helping the poor today, if he can not worked hard, saved his money, and learned to be a good stock trader.
5. OWN things of value, not because they simple look cool or will impress your friends.  
See above example. There are numerous commercials that tell you to buy things because you'll impress your friends with your success. If you buy into this concept you'll be poor in no time. 
6. Be the last person off the treadmill, and the first one on the next morning.
This advice comes from Will Smith one of the smartest and hardest working producers and actors in Hollywood. I've been with Will and confirm that this is exactly what he does. While other producers will hire story consultants and writers like me, and visit us for an hour or so during a several day long story conference effort, Will will be the first one there in the morning, and not leave until everyone else is in bed, 14 hours later. Will is extremely talented. But without the hard work, he'd not be rich. Oh, and here's a secret that in telling you I'm probably violating my confidentiality agreement -- but it makes the point well: In his home's movie theater, there are TWO treadmills. Work, baby work. Harder than anyone else.
7. READ THE BEST INSPIRING BOOKS on how to be self-sufficient. Here's a short list. They are not contrary to Catholic teaching, although you'll not find a bishops Rescript in the front. HA! I've read all these and many more. And while we're not rich by some standards, we aren't poor.
RICH DAD POOR DAD:  What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! (Richard Kiyosaki)



TIME MANAGEMENT (Richard Winwood)

TOP PERFORMANCE: How to Develop Excellent in Yourself and Others (Zig Ziglar)


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