By Martin Selorm Atopley

I recently saw a picture which really dazed me for days after reading the quote accompanying it. The quote read, “Poor people walk miles to get food but rich people walk miles to digest food”. This is indeed inarguably true after I recapitulated some events, after looking around my community and also stories about poverty stricken countries and how they suffer to get even corn to roast and nibble on.

I also recently saw an image of some people in Sudan who had grown so lean that their bones could be counted with alacrity. They were literally dead I must admit. Many things have actually accounted for a large population of the world to be poor while just a few are stinkingly rich and wealthy.

As many would agree with me, laziness and negligence is one major factor that makes many people poor. One must not expect to sit, fold his or her arms and expect all to be well and rossy. You need to be mindful,careful and determined to become successful through every legal and moral means possible. If you neglect today and procrastinate your dreams, tomorrow would reject you very shamefully.

The rich and wealthy are to an extent to be blamed as well. Some affluent people would hoard money and cheat others as though they would live forever. Some would kill,maim or destroy other people’s lives just for some dollars, stretches of lands or any valuables.

Well I ask, if poverty were a necklace would the poor or the rich buy? I know the answer is a very big No. No one in his or her lifetime would ever purpose to be poor but the underlying truth is anybody can be rich or poor at anytime. I’ve heard of men or women who were dipped in poverty yet they rose from the ashes to become successful people. Some people suffered for years and it was their children who finally got a breakthrough.

On the contrary, I’ve seen very affluent people who have also fallen within a twinkling of an eye and never rose again.Let me tell you a story about Kelvin, my very good friend back in the days. Kelvins father was an importer of cars and he was very wealthy. His mother owned one of the plush salons in the area and had no issues about money. Kelvin and his sister, Nana Ama were given the best of treatment any child could receive. I mean they ate what they always felt like consuming, bought whatever they wanted and could do anything. They were actually spoilt!

I remember fondly how kelvin would refuse to eat the palatable banku and chicken soup her mum would prepare but would take money to go and buy Hajia Kende’s banku and soup with meat. I often ask myself so what is the difference? Well on my part, you dare not dream of asking for money. In my house, you eat what is prepared and you dare not choose anything you want, never! At a point, I always felt jealous because Kelvin who is a blabbermouth would come and tell me a whole lot about his daddy’s wealth, the things he bought for him, and the vacation travels and so on. Sometimes he made me wonder if he was not intentionally mocking me and my poor family.

Time indeed they say, tells and as it were, that time came and it was like a tsunami, it brought sorrow and pain to the heart, soul and mind and even till today, they can never forget that incident.

It happened that kelvins father was an illegal importer and had been arrested and deported back to his homeland Ghana. It was a shock! The man  committed suicide two weeks after his arrival because the disgrace was overwhelming.

This story has thought me a great lesson that no one ever wants to be poor and neither was anyone born poor. It’s usually due to circumstances beyond ones control that jettisons people into the deep seas of penury.

After the demise of kelvins Dad, they left our vicinity and we never heard from them again. But just as fate would have it, I met him at a bus stop onetime and he even recognized me. We spoke at length and even spoke about the incident and how they’ve managed till today.

There was one thing Kelvin said which has left an indelible mark on me forever. He said, “My father was rich and thought forever he would be so he never saved or gave to people. We spent it all by ourselves and became full. No one wanted to help us when we needed them. When I become rich I won’t be like my father!”Tears trickled down my cheeks as we sat in the “Ayalolo bus” bound for Accra.

Indeed my friend is determined to become wealthy one day and not buy the poverty necklace as his father negligently did. He is ready to give, support and apparently teach his children to save and respect money.

I pray that those who are wealthy and are referred to as the world’s richest men and women would look out to assist poor and deprived communities and countries to also live better and fulfilled lives.