BE A RIVER, NOT A RESERVOIR (PART II)
By Akin Ojumu
When Adam, the progenitor of all mankind, was formed from the dust of the ground, the whole earth was his possession. The first man held the key to the treasures of the entire world. With 100 percent ownership of the planet, his was the full controlling interest in the asset of the universe. The land, the sea, the air, and everything in them was his.
From the prime estate of pleasure, the Garden of Eden, the master of the universe managed his immeasurable net worth spread across the whole earth. So blessed was Adam that all the animals of the field and all the birds of the air were brought to him to see what he would name them. Whatever he called each living creature, that was its name; Adam named the cattle, named the birds of the air, named the wild animals, he christened them all because he was the lord of the earth.
Adam and Eve were blessed beyond measure. That was the case until a fateful encounter with the devil. They were set for life in opulent abundance until the day they took the bait and swallowed the hook of the serpent’s deceit. It took a single encounter with the prince of darkness to upend it all. From that moment on, the destiny of the human race was forever altered.
Suddenly, the world of man became beset with lack and the story of man metamorphosed into that of limitless wants in the midst of limited resources. The life of man took a turn for the worse, and it became characterized by pain, toil, and sweat. The earth was cursed and everything in it, yielding nothing but thorns and thistles.
With the downfall of man came the deluge. Sickness and disease, like a hurricane, rain pain and suffering on the world. Poverty and lack, like suppurating lesions, clothe the children of men with misery and sorrow all the days of their lives.
Poverty and hunger are two sides of the same coin. In a deadly synergy, the effect of one potentiates the other. Like Siamese twins, the poor and the hungry are joined in a vicious cycle of deprivation and destitution.
At 7.7 billion population, ours is a world of haves and have nots. As the world’s haves get steadily richer, the have nots have become increasingly poorer. The gap between the rich and the poor is an ever-expanding chasm of income inequality.
Today, while the haves live a life of wasteful debauchery and filthy lucre, close to 1 billion have nots worldwide live in perpetual hunger not having enough food to eat. More than 3 billion live on less than $2.50 a day, with about 1.3 billion living on less than $1.25 a day (extreme poverty). 80% of the world population live on less than $10 a day. One billion children worldwide live in poverty, and 22,000 of them die each day due to poverty.
Excessive accumulation of stuff, regardless of actual value, is one of the classic presentations of the hoarding disorder. People with hoarding disorder excessively save items that others may view as worthless. They have a persistent difficulty in getting rid of or parting with possessions, leading to clutter that disrupts their ability to use their living or workspaces (American Psychiatric Association, “What is Hoarding Disorder?”).
We brought nothing into this world, and we will depart from it with nothing. Whatever worldly goods we acquire in between, they are not really ours to keep but to share with anyone in need brought our way. Nevertheless, there are those who cannot let go, but would rather keep and hoard until they are full to the brim.