I read a post by Mohit Aggarwal curated in the editorial- Poverty and I- that set me thinking.

Poverty for me is a feeling that there is still something lacking, a feeling of discontentment despite the luxuries we enjoy, when that discontentment is all overpowering and becomes a sore feeling never leaving you. This is because of the imbalance in the resources and desires.

And that, my friends, is real poverty.

I noticed many years ago that our maid, who had five kids was never bothered about her social status. Trying to make ends meet was not a bother for her. Her husband was a drunkard but the family enjoyed themselves without feeling “poverty”. And I, on the other hand, enjoying many luxuries was still feeling inadequate and stressed. The explanation is actually very simple. They have nothing to lose. Daily wage jobs are aplenty. Kids will fend for themselves when they are 10-12 years old, ready to work. No big dreams for education or amassing wealth. Living each day as it comes. Me on the other hand was trying to get a bigger car, bigger house, sending kids to a fancy school with its attendant expenses, getting the kids to learn swimming and tennis. You get the picture, I suppose. 

That feeling of inadequate resources is still persistent. With Gods grace, I lead a comfortable life. Not one full of luxuries because I don’t aspire for a bigger car or a bigger house anymore. But the feeling and stress  of day to day work and the worry to be able to provide for my kids the education that they aspire leaves me again with that feeling of poverty. The feeling that life is still uncertain. The work and incomes are not steady. The feeling of confidence and assurance is still missing. 

To me that is ‘poverty’. I feel blessed are those who don’t have to struggle so much. I know that a diamond is formed only under pressure, but I know many who are blessed with good luck, with the Midas touch. I have my own challenges and demons to face. Hopefully, someday I will outgrow this feeling and feel comfortable in my own skin.

I have a long road ahead, but surely there is a guiding light helping me get there.

Wishing you all good health.

Lots of love.

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TONY OM KATARIA

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