The following is adapted from a post I made in a forum after being disgusted by all those disingenuous inspirational stories


One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son,

"How was the trip?"

"It was great, Dad."

"Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked.

"Oh Yeah" said the son.

"So what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered,

"I saw that we have one dog and they had four. Our dog's a pedigree and his coat's shining and free from lice and ticks. He goes to the veterinarian for a checkup every half a year and his gut is free of worms. He's going to live a long and healthy life. Their dogs are all mongrels, 2 are lame and the other 2 are blind - the family was too poor to remove the cataracts from their eyes. They're so full of parasites that you can see the ticks jumping up and down from a metre away. Eeek!

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden. It is clean and crystal clear and we swim in it every weekend. They have a creek that has no end - it's muddy and stinks like someone tipped the entire contents of an outhouse into it. I think I saw a dead rabbit floating on it, and I hear the body of the last guy who tried swimming in it 2 years ago has never been found!

We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. However, we can always go out to the park and enjoy a nice evening, while their landscape is horrific to behold, having suffered the depredations of farming. I remember my history - parts of their lands look like the Dust Bowl of the 1920s.

Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. I really pity the master of the house. He must have a whole lot of gardening and weeding to do. However, I saw the landlords coming to collect the rent, and they can't pay, so I think they're going to be evicted soon. The farmer may have to sell his family into neverending slavery and work for the rest of his life trying to pay off his debts. This is all due to the law that Congress just passed in favour of all the rich farmers, which leaves the poorer ones struggling to stay afloat. Luckily, we are rich and politically connected, belonging to several lobbies so never will we be so hit.

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. However, our home is manicured and furnished, while their fields are overgrown. And I don't think I'd want to spend a night outdoors there. They have wolves out there: ferocious, slathering beasts.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. Their hourly wage hardly compensates for their time, and their masters bully and cuss at them.

We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We get Black Sea Caviar to eat, enjoy pasteurised chocolate milk and have sweet juicy corn, but they have only bitter rye bread to eat everyday, with a slice of rancid cheese a week sometimes if they're lucky. And that's if pollen from the GM crops growing upwind does not pollute their fields, causing them to destroy an entire crop just so paranoid EU consumers will buy their produce.

We have walls around our property and modern alarm systems to protect us, but wolves and burglars can terrorise them at anytime, while their friends are in farms tens of kilometres away. No wonder they never manage to repay their loans! I think they will have to sell their daughter to human traffickers soon to repay their debts.

We live comfortably off the obscene profits we earn thanks to persistent lobbying by our pressure group. Meanwhile, farming subsidies to cosseted farmers like Uncle Joe depress commodity prices, driving poor family farmers like them out of business.

With this the boy's father was proud. Then his son added, "Thanks dad for showing me how lucky we are."

Too many times we read inspirational tracts and forget the reality of the situation. What is one person's worthless object is another's prize possession. The grass is always greener on the other side, until you GET to the other side and truly experience all the horrors attendant.

NB: If the farmer was so poor, how come he has so much land?