Friday, 1 March 2019

Poverty in Riches

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In conversation with a friend, I discovered again the truth of the paradox of poverty in richness....and vice versa.
We recalled the bad behavior of a family member; a bully of a man who expects to be treated with deference by the people closest to him. He is a man of some means, and loves to show it off by spreading it around; but be warned; accepting his largesse comes at a cost, as hewhomustbeobeyed will tolerate nothing but your groveling affirmations and undying fealty. He does not realize that his obsession with such unhealthy loyalty reveals the extent of his insecurity.

Curiously,  even this sad soul has a side to him that I don't think he realizes. Given the nature of his business, he goes through times when his money dwindles, and it is at times like these that his nasty side takes a back seat to a sweetness you'd never believe he possesses. He spends more time with his family, laughs a lot more, is kind to his wife and is generally just a much nicer person to be with.

Clearly, his riches aren't riches at all; yet without it to lose, would his beautiful side have a chance to be expressed? He reminds me of why I love my country Ghana. In the midst of abject poverty, people can show a generosity that is a rare commodity among so-called wealthy people.

No wonder our wise elders had a proverb which they named after a beautiful wax print design..."Asetena pa ma awirefi' (Good living breeds forgetfulness).


  1. What a powerful slice. It leaves me thinking and questioning. There are so many lines that I could pick for a discussion but this line-" Clearly, his riches aren't riches at all;" can be interpreted in many ways. The slice has many thought provoking lessons.

  2. Thank you for this nuanced portrait of an imperfect person. I was especially struck by this sentence: "He does not realize that his obsession with such unhealthy loyalty reveals the extent of his insecurity." This description is all too familiar, as we all have people in our lives that resemble this man.

  3. You powerful slice reminds me of something my father used to say, "Money cannot buy you happiness."

  4. I agree with the other commenters. Quite powerful - in message and in description of this man. I can see him. Both sides of him.

  5. This post makes true the adage that money is the root of all evil...I feel sorry for this person's poverty of spirit.

  6. Is your uncle, by any chance, the president of the United States? 😂