THE GOLDEN EYE: When we were wealthy

SHARE   |   Sunday, 01 March 2015   |   By Nelson Letshwene

It was Jesus Christ in the book of Mathew who said, “the poor you will always have with you”. Yes we do have poverty of resources, but I think the greatest poverty is poverty of the mind. Eradicating abject poverty of resources is important, as long as we also eradicate poverty of the mind at the same time.  Why do the poor remain poor?
Was there a time when we were wealthy? It takes the wealth of the mind to eradicate poverty of resources. Botswana is a very great example of  a country which rose from poverty of resources to a wealthy country. This was achieved because Batswana were wealthy of mind. The wealth systems that rose this country to prominence should not be left behind, otherwise we will return to poverty of resources.
By just examining our life systems of the past, we can find out areas where we were wealthy.
When we were wealthy in our minds, we knew not to consume the entire harvest. We knew not to consume the entire herd or flock. We understood seasons. We could read the times, the clouds, the winds, the droughts, and years of plenty.
When we became poor of mind, we disconnected from our knowingness of wealth systems. We isolated money from wealth and we consumed the entire harvest at the end of each harvest season.  We made no provision for the future. We opened our mouths like baby birds and waited for mama bird to put food in our mouths.
When we were wealthy we knew how to invest in our future. We protected our seeds by soiling them with ash to prevent pests from consuming them. We preserved our meat by salting it, drying it, and storing it for the future. We dried our vegetables and preserved them for the future. Today, all these practices are forgotten.
When we are poor of mind, we consume our harvest without any though for tomorrow.  Today’s harvest is called salary. It is harvested at the end of every month. It is consumed without saving any seeds for tomorrow.
When we were wealthy of mind we understood the value of educating our offspring. We let our elders teach wisdom to the young. We taught natural phenomena to our offspring. Like Basra of Kgalagadi whose elders schooled their children around the fire about the behaviours of all animals around them, as well as where to find food and water in the desert.
When we became poor of mind we relegated education to systems. We put our kids in front of televisions and allowed others to influence our kids. We got busy with a dying process called living it up.
When we were wealthy we preserved our culture through meaningful song and dance.  When we became poor we let commerce dictate our entertainments. We put aside the harp and the lyre that produced music for the soul in exchange for meaningless upbeat sounds for the body.
When we were wealthy we knew the value of everything. When we became poor of mind we knew the price of everything but the value of nothing. We confused price with value, and we lost ourselves in the process.
When we were wealthy we knew how to share with each other. When we became poor we became traders, and forgot about sharing. If one of us had nothing to trade, they would not get anything shared with them.
When we were wealthy we never felt insecure. We always felt safe. We did not need protection from each other but we created safety as a collective. When we became poor of mind we became each other’s enemies and created rivalries and competitions among ourselves.
When we were wealthy, no job was ever too big for each of us, because we worked as a team. When we became poor we became parasites and some of us stopped contributing and yet wanting to benefit. When will we claim our wealth back and give up our poverty? To your success! Follow the blog on or follow me on twitter @101silverline

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