Inevitably around any election time you hear some common phrases being thrown around. Some with educated thought behind them and others that, if really thought through, make no sense at all. One phrase that I have heard recently as we are wrapping up another presidential election process is “Well, I guess the rich will keep on getting richer and the poor will keep on getting poorer.” This is one statement that always made me raise an eyebrow. I must admit that in my early 20’s I thought there was a ton of validity to this statement. However, now that I am in my late 30’s and have since served on a few boards with “rich” people, my opinion has changed.
I find it interesting that when we hear something repeated enough times and we do not do the hard work of researching it's validity, we end up believing it. This slight of hand trick happens in many pulpits on Sunday mornings and it even happens from political powers with the large stages. So we hear something and when it is repeated enough we begin to believe it. "Those rich people...all they want is more money and toys!" Let’s think about this.
I have a dear friend who is a successful business owner. This man and his wife are strong people of faith and truly have the gift of giving. This is a spiritual gift you know. A gift that intimidates many, including pastors, which ends up stifling these people from flowing in their gifts at times. I digress on that. My friend, whom I look up to, gets me thinking about that whole “the rich keep on getting richer and the poor keep on getting poorer” saying. When one begins to logically think this through we must ask the question, "How did they attain that level of income?" Like you and me, this person must have a job...some steady flow of income. When a person is well to do it is usually because they have broken the mold, an iconoclast if you will (shameless plug for the next message series). They are business owners and have a great business mind. One cannot help but think that if they have that kind of income that they cannot be doing it on their own, they need help. Interesting isn’t it? For them to get to this level they must have employees which is now offering other people hope, purpose and an income as well. So while while it is true the person at the top is being well compensated...I promise you that many would not want the daily schedule these and many other “rich” people have. Many could not handle the pressures of dealing with employees. I see plenty of complaints on social networking sites when the kids are acting up or one fellow co-worker is making it a bad day. Now try to take into account these daily dealings and compound that on the stresses of being a business owner. There is an old saying in business “The customers are always great...it’s the fellow employees that will make you crazy.” How would we cope in their shoes?
Whether it is a Rupert Murdoch, Bill Gates, or any other wealthy person, we must look at them and simply say “Thank you.” You may not be directly employed by these people, however people are employed by them which helps all of us have a restored hope in humanity. I have discovered that many who live off the government will complain about “the rich getting richer” when in fact it is these people who pay in the most so that those living off the government may continue to be able to do so. So will the rich keep on getting richer? Probably. Will the poor keep on getting poorer? That is up to the person who thinks they are poor. If you think you are poor, what are you going to do about it? Pursue schooling? Make a move for a new job? Work harder at your job so you can begin to climb the ladder? The choice really is yours and mine to make.
Next time we hear that phrase, lets take some time to really think it through and be thankful for the “rich” people. I know for the city that I live in...if it wasn’t for the “rich” people or, as I call them, the pillars of the community then there would not be much of a city. A city cannot survive off little cafes and cute gift stores as nice as they are. There must be those who see the bigger picture and invest, hire, and have that God given talent to help many others.