Rooting out poverty

Rooting out poverty

I have often heard the story that in the Jewish communities around the world, a wad of cash circulates around ‘at least (that is, the minimum)’ 19 individuals ‘within’ the community before it heads out to the general money-spending population.
The pattern of circulating money in this manner means that the community makes the most out of it before it is spent on things that are not available in such a community’s market, that is, the money is spent on what they cannot themselves manufacture and are therefore forced to outsource it.
It takes no use of definitions provided by quantum economic theories to understand why the Jewish communities of the world are on average the richest folk in the communities within which they live.

Their method is as simple as the old way of the ancients where the whole community would share the tinderbox, or a burning ember of coal that would move from house to house to start fires in different households.
Ho okhelana mollo meaning in short to share fire is an age old concept that was in operation before every family could buy their own box of matches, and it worked wonders in terms of keeping the community together for it kept the fires going.

The simple shard from a clay-pot or the use of the fire-pot in the case where the distance covered was long meant that the flame begun by the fire-makers (for fire indeed needs to be made) could go on to warm different households and to cook needed meals.

I see the same thing when it comes to the analysis of money which I see as the flame that we need to keep warm in the cold economic winters of the world where it burns as huge bonfires in the First World countries, and is scattered and scarce in the Third World countries and its flames are so small that they often cannot cook a meal or warm the different communities that share it.
The simple reality is that we need money to keep going on but are sadly confronted with the reality that money is not shared enough, with some parties that have it choosing to hoard it in different ways instead of sharing it with the rest of the community.

It is often out of pride that the little cash we have as African people is actually used for purposes other than the upliftment of the rest of society out of the clutches of poverty that plagues the continent.
Those who have it hoard it in different ways, from using the rather lame justification that one has worked hard for their money and therefore cannot share it, to being stingy enough not to pay those that render services, to limiting the use of cash in a small circle made of affiliates: the reality is that cash does not circulate enough within the community before it is spent.
What happens is that it reaches a maximum of three people before it is sent back to where it came from, and this leads to it not being used to its full potential by the members of the community that have it and decide to hoard it.

Time is of every essence, and being in time, being on time, being out of time are all determining factors in terms of eradicating poverty. One cannot hope to get out of the mires of poverty if they have no respect for the hands on the clock of time, for each minute counts for something important that can be done as an effort to erase the scourge of poverty.
I see this everytime I have to perform extra-mural (moonlight) jobs that put food on my table and serve to supplement my salary and to cover other extra costs.
Whatever minute is lost means that I might lose out on a simple job that could be done in the space of a few hours after which the payment by the client is supposed to be made.
Not respecting time means that one loses the job and with it the reward that is due based on the simple premise that one is paid on the basis of a job finished on time (the period demanded by the customer or client). In an environment where the concept of ‘African Time ’ is in use, there is just no way that activities that bring cash rewards can be finished on time to warrant adequate payment due to the labour put in.

If the job is late or out of time, it is fair for the customer to refuse to pay the amount demanded by the craftsman. And this leads to poverty as the potential cash-flow that would come with the timeous delivery and rendering of services is stemmed or limited due to non/under-payment born out of dissatisfaction.
Commitment to whatever efforts that are related to driving the economy is of paramount importance. The creation of cash demands that the parties involved are committed to the tasks that are the engines in the making of cash despite their seeming uselessness.

There are stories of many individuals that have made a lot of money from activities that at first seemed unimportant because they stuck to the road and were resolute in their decision to venture into the cash-creating activity.

Through sheer will and diligence, an individual can end up owning an empire if they are committed to the original vision of their business (which I term as ‘busy-ness’) because the creation of wealth demands that one should be as busy as the bee.

There is no given method in the carrying out of activities geared towards the creation of lucre, but there is the uncontested wisdom that once started, the effort towards the attainment of fiscal wealth should be unceasing, because pausing for a while (however short the moment of repose may be) may mean that one loses out on potential customers who may in their nature not have the patience to wait for one’s services and therefore begin looking for alternatives represented by fellow professionals in the same line of work one does.
The goal should be that one has to be committed enough not to end up as the loser because their effort is not committed or concerted.

Being virtuous means that one honours the terms of their service, that one does not cheat the client (through overcharging for services rendered), is timeous in the delivery of the needed services, understands the client’s condition, and is willing to provide services for less than what the services are actually worth in instances where the customer cannot afford the services offered or is timeous in their payment (for this means that the collateral costs such as debt collection and the cost of contingencies such as transport and meals are actually shaved off).

One as the provider of any service should understand that there will be bargaining in every transaction, but one should be virtuous enough to make the client aware of the cost of all the elements in the quotation, in short, one should be able to justify all of the components that make up the final charge for the services to be rendered.
The attitude locally is to argue with the customer and this leads to one or both parties losing out because they do not understand why the services to be rendered cost as much as they are presented out on the quotation.

The truth of the matter is that the customer is always king, and the virtuous craftsman working hard to keep the hunger at bay understands this simple fact, and they always get something out of the deal.
However little, this amount contributes in the poverty alleviation practices like service provision in different forms.
Knowing who to charge and how to charge them is always a challenge to the beginner in the handyman crafts, and I have figured out a simple way to do this.
The reality is that not all the clients one comes across can actually afford the full cost of the service they need, and it is rather uncouth to leave them out in the cold simply on the basis of their not being able to pay in cash.
There should be a payment plan made by the two parties (the service provider and the client) on how they can cover the labour cost of the service to be provided.
A simple agreement can be written or the agreement can be on a mutual basis, meaning that one as the provider relies on their previous experience with the client or their instinct (for one’s gut is right more times than it is wrong) to set out the terms of payment. However little, the income one earns from the service provision activities actually pans out to be enough to keep one going for the larger part of the month and out of the poverty trap caused by the lack of cash to pay day-to-day needs.

Getting rid of poverty is not made in the manner that one gets a lump sum to wash it away; the reality is that it is chipped away in little bits. The figure who is patient enough to gather in bits at the end of the day ends up richer because they are satisfied with the little they get and are therefore content, meaning that they can carry out their tasks in a committed manner that satisfies the client.
The big-name clients are few and far-in-between; one should learn to deal with the small-income clients who are actually more regular in their need for one’s services as a handyman.
Saving and spending are two elements that are core to the process of garnering wealth, and they should be treated with utmost care. The temptation is to spend after long hours of toil, and giving in to this kind of temptation leaves one poorer than they were before they began the task that pays them. The wisdom is to set out a budget in advance to avoid the impulsive spending sprees that are triggered by the little cash one gets their hands on in the course of their effort.

Cycling between being broke and having more cash than what one does not know what to do with it is the bane of many an independent craftsman on this continent who wake up one day to poverty on which they apply hard work to get out of only to regress to poverty the day after their hard work is rewarded.
One should learn to save, and there are many ways of doing it, I believe in putting a certain amount into the bank, or simply buying tools (even those that I do not need, for they always turn out to be handy when certain unforeseen jobs come my way).

We stay in poverty simply because we spend more than we make on many occasions, and this leaves us perpertual slaves to money-lenders and loan-sharks for whom we end up working for. The trick is simply to learn how one can live within their means and to gather enough on top of the little capital one gets from their activities.
The main argument for many of those that want to venture into business is that there is not enough capital to set out on. My argument is that the only capital one needs to set out on a money-making venture is that made up of the will to start, the courage to begin, the obstinacy to keep on keeping on despite seeming challenges, and constant education to establish and clarify one’s understanding of the field or craft they are in.

There is just no way that one can get out of poverty if one is focused on the tales of how others got out of poverty. They are good as reference points, but the truth is that the successful oftentimes succeed because they choose their own and follow it as it unfolds new realities as it progresses. The wisdom is to avoid praise at all costs for it carries a double meaning on an average day: it goads one on, but also sows the seeds of complacency because one then begins to think and believe that they are ‘good’.

The reality is that one should never become too familiar with what they do for it soon breeds a certain level of contempt or disrespect. Every job has a different character, and therefore, the approach to it should be carried with the utmost care each time one comes across it.
This respect for the job is what actually serves as the ladder out of the hole poverty has put the continent in.

By; Tšepiso S Mothibi

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