I once asked a Filipino guy - younger fellow - who was asking me for a bunch of free things like my shirts, shorts, shoes, etc., why he wanted these things from me. His answer was because I came from the States so I must be rich and have lots of stuff. I asked him if he was poor. He said yes.
Yes? I asked "Why are you poor?"
He thought for a moment and shrugged his shoulders and said "I don't know"
I asked "You don't know why you're poor?"
"Well," he said "I live in that barangay and we're poor there so I'm poor I guess. And I don't have a lot of stuff."
I looked at him and told him "You're not ashamed asking me for these things? Do you know HOW I got these things you are asking me for?" "I worked for them! Nobody gave them to me!" I went to work, earned money and saved enough to buy these shorts and shoes and shirts! You should do the same thing!"
I also told him that he doesn't have to be poor. He looked at me like I had two heads or something. He actually couldn't understand the comment I just made to him!
I said "You don't have to be poor. You can choose to become "not poor!" It's up to you. If you want to continue living poor and have no shame asking people for stuff you should be able to buy for yourself, then go ahead. But you have a choice, believe it or not!"
I think he got my message. He walked away quietly and I would see him from time to time around the village I lived in and say hello. Hope he learned a thing or two from our conversation.
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