Don’t you eat at home? Is the food you are hoarding at this party intended to last you one year? How much meat is enough for you? Are you obliged to quaff every alcoholic drink in sight simply because the cost is on the house and not on you? Why has the host embarrassingly run out of food and drinks even though more than enough provision was made for all?
Why do you keep two project vehicles even though it is only one you need? Why are brand new official vehicles parked in your garage while field activities suffer? How many houses do you need for which reason you must engage in all this frantic activity?
Why, in spite of your three mansions, have you still gone for government allocations of affordable houses for low and middle income groups? How many beds do you sleep in at night? How many additional brochures do you need to take home from this funeral, for which reason you are engaged in this mad scramble?
Men of God too?
You are a man of God, given over fully to service to God and mankind. You teach principles of Godliness with contentment. But you are not content. In fact, what you really care about are how big your car is, how often you travel abroad, the fact that you flew Business Class, your big house, your money and so on and so forth.
You are so materialistic in a way that embarrasses my sinful backslidden self. This, in fact, is how you count the manifold blessings of God in your life and you always want more!
The closer I watch some of these individuals engaged in this mad scramble for wealth and acquisitions, the more baffling it appears. In the most part, most if not all are never beggars. Most are blessed and have more than enough. Most are comfortable enough to afford more than the basics of life. They could even sponsor other people in more ways than one.
The need for such wanton public display of avarice is therefore truly baffling. As I have watched these grabbers – scrambling for wealth, food, drinks – even as others who are really in need of these service are denied, I wonder if this, perhaps, is how they have made their acquisitions to begin with in a lifetime modus operandi of grabbing everything in sight.
We organised a party for an elderly couple some years ago. Before the arrival of the couple, pressure started mounting for the eating to start. Eventually, we prayed and festivities began. To prevent this hoarding business, I banned any takeaway packs. Eat whatever you can here and let’s ensure that everyone gets food as planned.
Unknown to me, people had already started hoarding soup and meat in transparent polythenes concealed in their bags. In the end, a few guests that arrived late had meatless soup. It was at that point that some guests then offered to surrender one out of many packs that had been secured in dark and secret places — to my utter shock and amazement! More recently, I have seen someone pack extra tilapia in many layers of tissue paper to take home!
My second concern has to do with waste of food. People heap mountains and mountains which they cannot possibly consume. In the end, there is a lot of food simply thrown away. Why don’t people take just what they can consume and empty their plates? If they want more, why not then, go back for a second helping? A little discussion with a friend revealed some of the underlying reasons why wastage is preferred to following the line of the above questions.
“If I don’t take as much as I can now and have to go back for more, the food might all get finished. I have to leave some on my plate to show to people that I did not eat everything. If I keep going back for more, people might form the impression that I am eating too much. I really thought I could eat everything and wanted to try as many different things as possible.” In other words, it is all in their minds and what other people may think of them. Nothing to do with their own need or with their inability to afford these items.
I first witnessed the scramble for funeral brochures over 15 years ago when I lost my cousin. A lady earnestly pleaded with me to surrender my own copy. So insistent was she that I finally let go. Since then, I have seen the same spectacle at each funeral. Even worse. People stretching out, shouting, stepping on other people’s toes, etc. Meanwhile, these grabbers already have their copies. They only want extra to take home.
The overall effect is that despite printing 2000 copies of brochures for only 1500 people in attendance, it is still possible that many people present will not get individual copies to guide them through the service. I have often wondered whether this tedious collection of multiple tributes is in furtherance of the writing of research dissertations on funeral tributes.
So then, I have concluded that physical wealth ought to be differentiated from mental wealth. You could be materially endowed and blessed mightily by God but if you are poor in your own mind, symbolised by greed and living your life greatly dreading poverty which you may have once known intimately, then you may exhibit all these grabbing traits including denying other people the basics due them. God has truly blessed you. Don’t disgrace God and yourself by acting in ingratitude as one that is poor.
By: Sodzi Sodzi Tettey
Email: [email protected]