Poor? Or Rich.........?


    One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son
    on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of
    showing his son how poor people live.

    They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be
    considered a very poor family.
    On their return from their trip, the father asked his
    son, "How was the trip?"
    "It was great, Dad."
    "Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.
    "Oh yeah," said the son.
    "So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked
    the father.

    The son answered:

    "I saw that we have one dog and they
    had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of
    our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We
    have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the
    stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard
    and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece
    of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond
    our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they
    serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs.
    We have walls around our property to protect us, they
    have friends to protect them."

    The boy's father was speechless.
    Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how
    poor we are."

    Isn't perspective a wonderful thing?
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    Thanks Jnette . . . I had an experience that was the opposite. Our teenagers thought we were "poor" because we live in a rural area with no mall, we don't have video games, etc.

    Took them on a mission trip to a small rural village in Mexico and they saw what real poverty looks like. I've mentioned it here before so sorry to tell the story again. Broken glass littered on makeshift baseball field. Kids living in hovels with no bathroom right next door to fancy houses of coyotes or drug dealers . .the funny thing is they all had the same barb-wired fences with plastic grocery bags adorning them. Lots of litter everywhere. One of my sons brought a group of kids to our church for a cold shower (no hot water) and new clothes and dinner. Both sons played baseball every night with the kids. We assembled a swingset/slide in the dirt around the church and most of the neighborhood of kids there. It was an amazing trip. Scary border guards who let us go pretty much where ever we wanted because I was "blonde". That was weird and scary too.

    Anyway, the boys came home to soft beds and hot showers and regular meals and decided they weren't as poor as they thought.

    Yep, it is definitely perspective.

  4. by   jnette
    Thanx for sharing, Steph.

    Yes, it's always good to have our kids experience the "other side".
  5. by   manna
    Sounds like a fantastic learning experience you provided your boys, Steph.

    My brother's dau is one of those who is constantly complaining that they are "poor" (well, they have been without income or making very little the past eight years my brother has been in medical school and residency), yet her mother still buys her Limited Too clothes, she has her own CD player/TV in her room, etc. I'm constantly trying to remind her that there are so many people in the world who have so much less than she, it's almost callous of us to call ourselves poor.

    But who can reason with an adolescent, I suppose?
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    That's just it.......you can't reason with an adolescent.

    It's funny, how even in the same family the kids' perspectives can be different. My two oldest children can remember the days when we were really poor by American standards....on welfare & foodstamps, all 7 of us crowded into a 2-bedroom apartment, no VCR or computer, etc. These two grew up learning to appreciate what they did have, and later on when things got better, they took good care of their possessions.

    The youngest two, on the other hand, were only babies back then, and to them there's always been enough of everything........so they ended up with this attitude that life is a free ride, no matter how many times I tell them otherwise. The fact that they're boys, and therefore less careful with things, does enter into the equation, but it still pisses me off when they casually destroy something it took my husband and/or me hours of work to buy for them, and then go "Oh, it was an accident". We always refuse to replace the things they ruin, but it doesn't seem to bother them......they just figure that there's another birthday, Christmas etc. To their credit, neither of them complains much about NOT having certain things (I have flatly refused to buy them video games, PlayStation etc. because I'd never get them out of the house otherwise, and they know better than to ask), but I wish we could make them understand WHY it makes us so mad when they leave their personal CD players, clothes, books etc. on the floor where they get stepped on.......kicked across the room.......peed on (the cats sometimes mistake their room for a litter box).......and God knows what else!