on helping the poor

It pains us urban citizens to see how many of the poor are still seen begging on the streets, many of whom are still on those ages younger than 15.

But whenever we see them begging on the streets and give them those alms, are we really helping them by doing that?

There was one interesting story Dad told me about a dramatically ironic scene he saw under a bridge in Central Jakarta.

There he saw children "depositing" their own hard-earned pennies to a plump, shabby-looking and dark-complexioned woman who was licking a Walls ice cream she had just bought.

A Walls ice cream, bought with the pennies that those children had earned!!

That woman was already fucking plump herself, yet the children under her care was forced to work 24-7 under the scorching heat of sun until they got too thin to feed themselves.

The other day I also read an article of an official in West Nusa Tenggara province blaming the deaths of malnutrition on the children's parents.

He was quoted as saying, in a paraphrase, that those children starved to death for the fact that their parents care more about buying all those cigarette packs instead of buying their children nutritious food.

While that West Nusa Tenggara official may be a corrupt man himself, I think there is a certain degree of truth in his statement.

Which gives us the lesson that, just as the saying goes "Give man a fish for a day and he'll ask for more later; teach man to fish for today and he'll be able to feed for life", I think we should simply resist ourselves from giving direct cash to the poor in urban and rural areas alike.

We could teach them to fish simply by having their children educated.

That way, though it has almost no effect on the parent's income, at least we are giving their children an opportunity to fend for themselves.

Hence, giving those poor children a chance to climb the social strata ladder... from the low-class regions to a middle-class family.

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