Dr John Smith

We shouldn't forget the poor when talking about rich lists
We shouldn't forget the poor when talking about rich lists

In the past few weeks we have had the world’s richest list, the richest in the UK list and the wealthiest women too.

Why do we want to know? Surely not so we can ring them up and ask for some!

Perhaps it is to make us envious, perhaps to inspire us to make millions too. Sorry, I’m wrong, billions.

Are they role models? Lives to look up to so we can look down on others from our VIP enclosures?

Perhaps that is the reason these lists are published.

I hope I am not insulting these very, very rich people.

I know nothing of their lives; how they made their money or whether they inherited it.

They probably employ thousands and generate wealth for thousands too.

We do not need to know and, if we do, we should compile another list which is probably more obscene.

A list of those who are the poorest.

They do not have billions, but there are billions of them.

Billions who do not have enough to eat, do not have clean water, do not have proper sanitation.

They have no privacy, no rights. They have no security.

In their own way the very poor are different too.

We close our eyes to them, afraid we might be contaminated by them.

I hope you understand me when I say shame on us for being so interested in the rich and so uninterested in the very poor.

The word compassion means to suffer with, but we don’t.

Maybe, just maybe, the rich list is important but only if it makes us care about the very poor.