George Herbert: "Church-porch"
Day 10: Morning
|Some great estates provide, but doe not breed
A mast'ring minde; so both are lost thereby:
Or els they breed them tender, make them need
All that they leave: this is flat povertie.
For he, that needs five thousand pound to live,
Is full as poore as he, that needs but five.
| Some great properties provide the necessities,
but do not develop a person in control of him/her self so both the properties
and the person are lost. Or else the estates breed them tender, needing all
the comforts that they were raised on. [When luxuries become necessities.]
This is genuine poverty. He, [or she,] that needs 5 thousand a day (finds
it a minimum necessity just to get by) is as poor as a person who needs only
In the mind of each they are scraping by to make ends meet. This hand to mouth existence, no matter how much they spend between hand and mouth, is poverty and emotional destitution. The rich kid living at the club, the divorcee with half her income or the Prodigal feeding pigs, all live in poverty. Maintaining existence is the only concern. Abundant with fruitlessness and defeat, the spirit withers.
The one who requires 5 thousand a day is spiritually indigent, and the one who may not need 5 every day is less poor. Blessed are the poor in the spirit of being poor, not needing anything. Consider the necessities, not our comforts that we take as necessities, but the basic requirements of our lives. Too often we need a misfortune to make us aware of what is important for us. Every now and then we can reevaluate our necessities and cross off some of our priorities. It is like going through the Needles' Eye to return to basics and the truly important for our lives and those around us, our children not our property. The "mast'ring minde" filters the residue and leaves us with what really matters.
Personal note: We learn little even with the best experience.
© 1997 J. R. Arner
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