A rich man took his son to the countryside to show him how poor people lived. They spent a few days on a farm with a family that struggled to eat properly or feed their farm animals. On the journey back to their home in the city, the father asked his son, “What did you think of the trip?”

“It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh, yes,” the son said.

“So what did you learn?” the father asked.

“I saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden; they have a creek that has no end. We have placed lanterns in our garden; they have the stars at night. Our porch stops at the front lawn; they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on; they have fields that expand beyond our vision. We have servants who serve us; they serve others. We buy our food; they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us and they have friends and neighbours who protect them.”

The father was speechless.

“Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.”


Reflection: A change of perspective can turn a whole situation around, for the better or worse. It is entirely in our own hands. Too often we make assumptions about other people and pass unfair judgments. We forget that what is worthless to one person is another person’s prized possession. Often we also take for granted what we have and simply focus on all the things we don’t have, forgetting that there are others who have even less than us.