Monday, February 11, 2013

The Poor, The Rich and the Poor in Mind



What does it mean to be poor? A friend put up this question thru his Facebook status. So I ask myself, am I poor? If not, then I might be rich. But I don’t think I am. Maybe in between or what?  Do I really need to know if I’m poor or not?  What is it that we can gain from knowing what status in life are we living in? Are there any importance to tag ourselves whether we are poor or rich? 


When we say poor, the first thing that comes to mind are the beggars, informal settlers, and those who don’t earn enough to provide for their most basic needs. If we are to use that last description, then we can categorize those people who enjoy high salaries as "poor" if they don't know how to handle those 6-digit monthly payslips. Those who spend more than what they earn and don’t know the difference between luxuries and essentials. In the end, they are just high-earning “isang kahig isang tuka” people. They earn high but when emergency comes, they don’t have anything to spend. Unlike those who manage well their finances that even with their smaller or average incomes, they are able to keep some bucks ready for urgent matters.


You have this? But still poor?



Being poor can be a state of mind too. But no, it’s not just it. We can't tell the beggars and those who have a hard time to come up even with one decent meal per day that their status is only happening in their imagination. Poverty is real and people who suffer from it are considered poor.  But there’s a mentality that worsens it. It’s what we hear and learn from some folks about the rich. We often see them being portrayed on TV as the society’s usual “mapangmata” and “mapang-api” . We always hear about their “elitism”, and about them being aloof from the common people and that what's important to these people is just money and the material stuff.  This has been what the “poor-in-mind” people think about what rich people are. The stereotypes got into them.  And this is what creates that division between the haves and have-nots. We even have that Filipino proverb "Aanhin pa ang bahay na bato kung ang nakatira ay kwago. Buti pa ang bahay kubo ang nakatira ay tao” which summarizes that mind condition.


Unfortunately, it’s the misunderstanding part that causes all of these. What the poor-in-mind people think about the rich is actually a reflection of their frustrations of what they think they would do if they are in their shoes. And this misunderstanding results into hate. And by hating, the poor-in-mind person is conditioned to stay at their current status.  The rich persons’ mentality to surround themselves with positive and like-minded people is perceived by the poor-in-mind people as aloofness and elitism.  Sometimes, their strict behavior and hard discipline which probably helped them reach their success is observed by others as a negative trait, being snobbish or a “mapangmata” attitude. Rich people wearing and using branded items in public are seen by the others as simply status symbol where in fact, it’s basically these well off people only buy them because of the value they get from them. That's another thing that separates them from the rest. They usually buy value at the best price and not because of the brand or the nameThough for sure, they sometimes buy the name but it isn't bad at all as they already paid for it with smart and hard work and they are just sort of “paying themselves” with it. 

Here's a friendly rich kid.


But a lot of poor-in-mind people think in reverse. They think that they need to reward themselves first for every peso they earn. It could be the reason why a lot of the average and even below average earners are the ones we see brandishing their up to date smart phones, gadgets or get ups in public while a lot of those who earn more doesn’t mind displaying and using their 3-year old cheap but reliable mobile phones.

16 comments:

  1. poor, rich... these are all highly relative, arbitrary

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    1. that's true. these really are relative. discontent is one of the culprits. Thanks bro for dropping by.

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  2. i guess money's not the issue, it's the person's attitude or how he prioritize things and money

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  3. very well said sir..

    this post is truly an eye-opener :)

    as always...

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  4. sabi nga ni salbahe: everything is relative. hehe!

    tama ka dun sa mga branded stuff. madami akong kakilalang mga poor-in-mind people. :D

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    1. onga eh. kaya mahirap din talaga pag inuuna ang mga ganun pre. hehehe

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  5. Ah, I think it's also a coping mechanism on their part as well as an extra effort to let others see of their worth.


    Magandand araw, Rogie. I sent you an email pala days ago pa. Hope it landed in your inbox safely hehe

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    1. Thanks Ms. N. Ayun, kaka open ko pa lang ng email. Will reply to that for sure. Salamat. :)

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  6. Poor-in-mind? Many people suffer such poverty in every segment of the economic spectrum. Some rich people placed all their comfort to their money thus they fail to see that money will never give them everlasting happiness. Many poor people, on the other hand, has the same thinking so much so that they toil too much to gain more money that can never be carried beyond this life.

    What we need is detachment from money. I am not saying that we don't earn money. What I'm saying is that we use money for our needs but we not let it control us.

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    1. Yup.Agree with you bro. even billionaires can be poor in mind. I like what you said. If we let money control us, we'll still end up discontented and still poor not just financially but also spiritually.

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    2. I like what Ish says. It's not how much or how little money we have, it's how we are attached to or detached from money and all the things that it can buy. There has to be balance -- money is just a means to an end -- where does NEED end and WANT begin? It is also good to remember that to whom much is given, much is expected. Those of us who, whether through good fortune, or hard work, or both, have more, are also called to greater generosity, perhaps even radical generosity. (Rare is the person who can do that though.)

      Thanks for this post, Rogie. Good thoughts.

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    3. Thanks Stef. That's right. Money is still just a means and we should never ever forget that. :)

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  7. I very much agree to this. Filipinos have been conditioned that being rich is ungodly. Because of our predominant Catholic culture, it is seen that worldly riches will not bring you to heaven. That's true, but we're still here on earth and we need money to exist.

    Being poor doesn't mean you are given the keys of heaven. The Bible actually says that God gives us the power to gain wealth, and that God wants to bless us. He wants us to prosper and have a good future to also be a blessing to others.

    Kung pabigat ka sa lipunan, paano ka magiging blessing sa ibang tao?

    It's the wrong mindset about money that keeps people from rising from poverty. They think money is the root of all evil, when the truth is that the "love of money" is the real culprit.

    Thank you for this post!

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    1. Tama naman. If we can't even help ourselves, how can we think of helping others?

      regarding what you mentioned about the catholic culture/thinking regarding poverty, I'm just wondering why it is only in the Philippines that this thinking is rampant, or maybe with some other countries. While on other European catholic countries, it is not the same. probably, it's just a misunderstanding on our part. and another excuse for the laziness of some. we are consoled by the faith that being poor in material things does not mean we are unfortunate because still, we are loved by God and there's always hope for everyone. But some just hoped and maybe forgot about the other saying "nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa".

      Thanks a lot bro Raymund. :)

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