Take your shirt off . . !


SOMETHING terribly disgusting in our country is the glamour our political leaders portray through their ostentatious cars, their homes, their rings on their fingers, so on and so forth. The money they lavish on themselves so blatantly could easily feed a hundred families for a year or even more. And yet with no guilty conscience they display their wealth to the country at large.

I’ll never forget Colonel Tutton from England, a dear friend of mine. We met after a number of years when he decided to visit India with his wife. We decided to lunch together and I took them to the Taj. “Bob,” he said, “I can’t eat here, when I know the same money could feed those urchins outside. Let’s eat elsewhere and with what we save, feed them!” We ate in a small though lovely restaurant and yes, many hungry went home with their stomachs filled. A twelve- year old, Christopher Daniel penned these lines in England, where he lives.

It was by chance that we were born, To plenty in a land of corn. In other lands less favoured by, The weather’s hand. It is a very bitter price they pay, For want of wheat and rice. Nigeria’s Northern deserts spread, And leave whole tribes to wait for death. In Bangladesh, the rains spill forth, And flood the plains from South to North, They isolate the village folk, Who least can bear this heavy yoke. It was sheer chance where we were born. Should we not send them of our corn?

Sheer chance isn’t it, that we are born into families where we don’t have to wonder where or when our next meal is coming from? I am sure you will all agree with the twelve-year old poet as he winds up asking: ‘Should we not send them our corn?’ We should, shouldn’t we? But before you shake yours heads in absolute agreement, I’d like to run this little story by you:

A speaker stood in Hyde Park and addressed an audience which was made of just one man. “If you had two houses you would give them to the poor, wouldn’t you?” “Yes,” shouted his single listener. “And if you had two cars, you would keep one and give the other away?” “Indeed!” shouted his listener.

“And if you had two shirts, you would give one away?” “Hey wait a minute,” said the man who was listening, “I do have two shirts!” “Hey wait a minute Bob!” you cry, “It was easy nodding in agreement about the politicians, their cars and their homes, but about our shirts…”


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