Thursday, September 27, 2012

Generosity And Dignity Of The Poor

Strange, isn't it?

Generosity and dignity are two great things that we would naturally stick to rich people. The richer they are, the easier we imagine them helping people and being seen as dignified by the people around them. We might not readily agree to this even when we ask ourselves, we do tend to react differently to someone whom we just found out is a director of a successful company. Or this dude just bought a huge house somewhere. Or the usual "Oh see that guy? Looks so humble but he's actually a rich man from Indonesia". The sudden surge of respect.

We would almost immediately behave differently compared to if we heard someone is just another fisherman from Merchang area. That's just a rather random seaside location so you don't have to google that. :D

I gained a deeper insight and appreciation to how wrong this is listening to Sy Hamza Yusuf on a talk about United against Poverty. He related an experience he had being stuck in a rainy storm and was forced to seek shelter in an old bedouin man's tent. Bedouins are simple nomadic people and don't have much. The bedouin man slaughtered one of his sheep to feed them and as the tent was simple and the wind outside was strong, he stood holding the main pillar supporting the tent just in case the tent might fall down on them in the night.

They woke up and he was still standing holding it.

If you had a car breakdown and need a lift somewhere to get help, who would you bet on to stop by and give you a hand: dude in mercedes or dude on an old honda kapchai motorcycle?
almost 100% will say old honda kapchai dude la kan. Mechanics don't usually ride mercedes around. hehehe.  That's a joke but you get the idea, right?

Poor people have been proven to give charity more often despite them needing the money themselves. Proven.  People who experience hardship are more likely to make life less hard for other people. It's just how it is. And that touched me.

But what Sy Hamza said next gave me another slap.

"... and we do them great injustice by not looking to their needs."


  1. A good reminder, hope that my "injustice" is not so great.

    and i know where Merchang is ;-)

  2. Hahah don't go googling eh :p That cracked me up! Anyway, surprisingly I don't have any "sudden surge of respect" for the rich... To me, good for them if they are. What defines you is how you are, not what you have.

    1. that's good, mrs. i dont mingle much with neighbors but when i do, i would notice how some faces light up learning of a rich dude here n there.

      even when someone introduce me someone, they'd say o he was x-director of this that.... i have no idea why it's important and how it could relate to me... but that is just how it is.


darn.. too lazy to turn on disqus