SQUARE POINT: Poverty and common sense PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 12:11

BY Jack Edward Enriquez


Several surveys and studies, as far as what we know, have been conducted by government and private agencies with focus on the way of living of Filipinos all over the country and the results consistently showed that majority of the Filipino families were below the poverty level. It simply means that about 60 to 70 percent of the whole population consist of families characterized by low-income or none at all, facing scarcity of daily needs or deprived of basic services. According to reports, more or less 10 percent of the common masses may be drifting to hopelessness — can hardly eat three meals a day, at times passed the night on empty stomach or even died without seeing a doctor.

Since time immemorial poverty has been the favorite battle cry of candidates aspiring for top political post in government, such as “to fight against poverty by all means”.

In fairness to those elected officials who were honest and sincere in office, they have done their best to combat poverty with all their might, yet poverty remains unbeatable. Instead of dwindling its effect, the virus spreads out like a contagious disease. All efforts exerted to rid society or poverty seemed to be in vain.

Be that as it may, here’s a surprise for everyone. Based on feedbacks from intellectual readers as well as our own personal observations on what’s taking place before our eyes. We’ve discovered a sterling point of logic that an ordinary mind can understand — the best weapon to fight poverty is common sense.

What a surprise! How can common sense eradicate poverty?

Let’s take an ordinary laborer as the husband with a simple housewife. They have not gone to college for both of them came from poor families. But they have a common sense and they are bent on using it to bring about a change in their lives, follow their dreams and attain their goal.

They have only two kids for they know that having more children means bigger expenses. They can’t afford it. To augment his meager income the husband makes bamboo baskets and other handicrafts for sale among friends. As the head of the family and a model to his children, he’s free of any form of vices. He stays away from trouble and takes all precautions lo avoid accident. Common sense tells him that trouble and accident are waste off time and money, a hindrance to progress. His wife who washes clothes for a fee plants vegetables in the backyard to be sold in the neighborhood. She raises a few chickens, too. They are not fond of luxuries or elegant clothes; simple and clean will do. Not spending unnecessarily like fiesta or party, they see to it that a portion of their daily earning is kept as savings for future needs. They eat nutritious food like the vegetables from their garden.

Raised within the bounds of good moral values, the children are well-bred and disciplined. Well- nourished and intelligent the young kids passed the scholarship examination. So they can finish college without additional burden on their parents and find good jobs someday to uplift their lives. Certainly they won’t have to follow the arduous track where their parents used to tread before

That is the change, the dream and the goal. Hence, poverty is defeated.

In a community of 100 families, should there be about 70 to 8O families of this kind, naturally poverty would exist no more.

But the big question is — can we carry out that common sense and be deprived of the joy and comfort of leisure?