Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Poverty been breeding here for so long that I can't imagine she not being here no more. It feel like she been here forever, and nobody can't seem to trace when she first arrive.

For so long, so many years, decades, she squat sheself here and procreate all over we country.
And lemme tell you, when Poverty squat she bony tail down hard, she ain't easy to get rid off.

'Specially when most people migrate, and it ain't have enough people now to think and work to push she out. As scrawny as she is, Poverty ain't a lightweight somebody to heave off.

But for all o' that, I still find it hard to completely blame Poverty for people stealing, 'cause rich people steal too.

I come to the conclusion that is poverty of the mind, not poverty of things, that make people steal. Make people lie. Make people be sly behind you back.

I too confused right now about betrayals and behind-you-back-slyness to think straight, right now...too confused trying to figure out, how you does teach a person, an employee, ethics...honesty...trustworthiness? Especially when you been trying, over and over and over and over and over. But the person just ain't seem to care.


Growing Up said...

Its greed with some people you can give them the world and they will still want more and they don't care who they take it from either.

Hayden said...

I believe that you can't teach anyone anything. You can lay out the banquet, but they must decide to feast.

I visited recently with foks that I learned were of a "casual sort of honesty" (read, NOT in yours or my eyes) and they were in probably the top 1% of the earning bracket HERE in the US! That makes them the folks who can actually live as TV says most Americans live..... so much, and so little.

Hayden said...

(as in, they have so much wealth, and so few ethics!)

Caroline said...

When I was the poorest I ever was I still gave people back their money if they accidentally gave me too much change...

Kingston Girl said...

Just reapppeared... and want to wish you 'Happy New Year!'

kfm said...

you just cant teach an old dog new tricks...

easy snake does bite hot

cream said...

I believe you are right about poverty of the mind that makes people steal.
A five-year employee of mine, assistant manager, who I considered a daughter turned out to be a common thief. And clever with it. No incriminating evidence. Circumstantial, yes but useless.
The lost money is not what hurts. It's more about the broken trust, the stab-in-the-back, the falsehoods, the betrayal that makes me physically sick!
She wasn't poor! Just greedy!

But I really believe this person will always be poor because honesty is such a great richess! And she has lost that!

Robin said...

Self respect is the most important thing we have, we are nothing without it and you can't have it if your dishonest, you rob yourself.
Betrayal is also one of the hardest things to take, we never get used to it I think.

cadiz12 said...

people are so selfish.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Cadiz, somebody did tell me that once, that some folks refuse to change because people are selfish.

Robin, it's the slyness that gets to me...a sly, sneaky behaviour of "If I take a little bit, no one will notice." So they snitch here, snitch there, a bit here, a bit there, behind your back. It is a betrayal, especially when you go all out to be kind.

Cream, I thought about your business while writing this, if you had people stealing from you. GGGGRRRRR. I can just imagine how you felt.

KFM, that's exactly what neighbour said!

Hey, Kingston Girl, happy new year to you too :-D

Caroline, exactly!

Were you shocked, Hayden? For some reason, when well-off folks steal, I find it more shocking than when poor folks steal.

That's exactly what's happened here, Growing Up. We give and give, and still this person thinks it's okay to snitch behind our back. grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Modern Viking said...

It's true... Poverty is the result, not the cause. The problem is somewhere deep in human nature...

Annie said...

True - there's a little girl who steals in my class, I wish I knew how to deal with her. She just doesn't seem to understand why it's wrong.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Annie, if you find out how to deal with her, please share. This person here is an adult, and MAKES EXCUSES for doing things behind our back and refuses to hear. It's not just stealing. It's the sly behaviour and excuses.

I could never run an industry or an entire corporation, Viking, having to deal with so many personalities, baggages, characters.

Katy Newton said...

I think you got it exactly right when you said that it is poverty of the mind, not poverty of things, that makes people steal, but that probably also means that there isn't very much that can be done about it.

You can frighten people into not stealing but you can't always make them see why it's wrong in principle.

Ri said...

You are right that wealth (or poverty) is too often based on materiality and deprivation. Donald Trump once gave a beggar a quarter and said, you are 80 million and 25 cents richer than me, because I am 80 million in the red. Of course, the Donald has bounced back well.

cadiz12 said...

is it the people who are selfish who refuse to change or other people, because people are selfish?

either way, selfish people need to take a hike.

Hayden said...

no, I wasn't shocked, GG. wish I could say I was. but it was the kind of small 'pilfering' that people excuse to themselves. I was disturbed. and astonished that they didn't think there was anything wrong with the story that they were telling me, even though it was rooted in pocketing something that wasn't theirs.

it wasn't money, but it was a potentially valuable item that the owner didn't realize they had. The guy keeps it although he can't reveal it from the sense of importance that gives him. The original owner doesn't miss what he didn't know he once had, and I don't tell anyone because i know none of the people involved and everyone would wind up in jail and no one was "hurt." unless the entire story is a lie, which is equally strange. no telling. it was the amorality in sharing the story that was most astonishing.

they aren't really friends. just people I met recently. and that is another strange story.

as a writer I thrive on the story, thrive on the revelations that they made w/o intending to, thrive on the strangeness of it all.

Hayden said...

and then there was my foster daughter. she stole and I don't think anyone will ever convince her its wrong. she "knows" that its a survivalists world and morality is a mirage, a pretense. That is her life and reality, and she has the experiences and stories to back it up.

what do you do with people like that? how do you deal with them w/i a social community w/o being victimized?

DaveM said...

Sometimes I think that its an attitude of mind that makes people steal. They dont see it as wrong, they see it as equalising things out taking from people who have more than them. Maybe they dont think that they have any worth, no self esteem. Maybe its education that will help cure it teaching people to value gifts other than monetary wealth.

But you cant do much about greed, that doesn't know any boundaries between rich and poor.

Dan Flynn said...


It sounds like you've had something stolen and are a bit weary with it. I find that stealiing is wearying not necessarilly because of the thing stolen, although that is sometimes important, but because it generates lack of trust, it undermines us as people. However, I think people steal for different reasons, though the rich and powerful set the tone. Capitalism in my opinion is legalised theft and this is the tone of the society in which we live. Capitalism undermines human relations, the importance of seeing each other as brothers and sisters, of our commonality. In contrast to this human beings as a mass are tremendously decent folk who do their best, however the context for our lives is not our humanity but a brutal economic system that damages us, bends us out of shape, dishonours us. And out of the dishonour that is imposed on us all comes dishonourable behaviour. It is awful to be stolen from, to be deceived but the thief is also dishonoured in the theiving. In capitalism theft is THE way of life, we can hardly be surprised therefore that it happens everywhere. This might sound like a excuse for theft, it is not, like you I've had things stolen from me and do not like it. What I try to do is understand it, historicise it, see where it comes from. Because if theft is historical then we can do something about it, we can beleive that a world is possible where theft does not exist. The other point of view, that it is human nature, in our genetic makeup seems such a bleak view (it's also a view by which Capitalism justifies all sorts of terrible things, war, poverty, unemployment, violence). I prefer to think of humans as wonderful things with potential to change everything for the better, even theives.

DCveR said...

There is a time to stop being nice, for me that time usually starts after the stab-in-the-back or at the attempt to do so. When people act that way I simply set them aside. IF it is someone working for me that person shall be fired. If it is someone I thought was a friend that person shall become worst than a strange. This may sound awful, but there is only so much time we can spend and I refuse to waste mine on such people, this is not hatred though, I simply ignore certain people.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Problem is,, you'd probably end up not employing anyone. They don't all steal big things...they snitch here, snitch there, you try to overlook, ignore...because the person is poor, and you feel sorry, really, REALLY sorry for them. And you lock up your things, and you watch and wait.

Yes Dan, people stealing or constantly lying or doing stuff behind your back can make you weeeeeary. It's the constant distrust, feeling betrayed, that wears you down. You give and you give and still the person has this NEED to be sly.

Dan, I don't consider myself cynical...I think there are good people, bad people, evil people. I don't blame capitalism for our woes. I hate socialism, well, you know that already, and my reasons why...but you'll still talk to me, won't you?

Hello DaveM, thanks for joining in. This morning, my cousin said something similar, [not as an excuse, but as explanationn] that they don't see it as wrong, taking from people who have more than them.

Hayden, that story about your foster daughter still has me shocked, the one you wrote on your blog. That is one wounded, scarred child. I wonder where she is now, how she's doing. And the one about those folks that you're now telling here...still shaking my head!

I think people who refuse to change are selfish, Cadiz.

Hello Sean Paul...I mean RI...don't you just love a good 'bounce back' story? I do.

I hope, Katy, I hope...maybe some people can gain wealth of mind? I hope.

You won't all believe how writing this, talking about it, writing some more, hearing what you have to say, has calmed me down. Thank you, mwah x.

Dan Flynn said...


I like the openness of your comments page (as I do Hayden's when she and I have discussed politics and economics) where we have friendly and supportive discussions about stuff we agree with and on ocassion stuff we don't agree with. It's all part of the cut and thrust of healthy debate and in this way we keep blogging alive and vibrant, and ourselves for that matter.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Thank you, Dan. I've known people who can be been rude, insulting, snide...volatile when others don't agree. You can see it in our newspapers too, letters to the editor. So thank you, mwah.

Aunty Marianne said...

GG, it's horrid when someone steals from you, and I always find the disappointment of discovering that that person steals is worse than the loss of the thing that has been stolen (but then I deliberately own nothing that's very very valuable).

But think of it as an exercise in character. If you can live this experience and still have faith in people (other than the culprit) then you are staying open to the world.

I know you will anyway. Hugs hugs.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Aunty Marianne, I ain't want no more exercises in character bawl sob. You're right though, I try to stay open to the's either that or no hope.

And I don't know whyyyy I still can't get on to your blog. Your's and Steff's.

Reluctant Nomad said...

I loved your image of poverty 'squatting'. It reminded me of Philip Larkin's poem, 'Toads', because he uses the same image to apply to work:

Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life ?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off ?

Six days of the week it soils
With its sickening poison -
Just for paying a few bills !
That's out of proportion.

Lots of people live on their wits:
Lecturers, lispers,
Losels, loblolly-men, louts -
They don't end as paupers;

Lots of folks live up lanes
With fires in a bucket,
Eat windfalls and tinned sardines -
They seem to like it.

Their nippers have got bare feet,
Their unspeakable wives
Are skinny as whippets - and yet
No one actually starves.

Ah, were I courageous enough
To shout stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that's the stuff
That dreams are made on:

For something sufficiently toad-like
Squats in me, too;
Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,
And cold as snow,

And will never allow me to blarney
My way into getting
The fame and girl and the money
All at one sitting.

I don't say, one bodies the other
One's spiritual truth;
But I do say it's hard to lose either,
When you have both.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Nomad, I enjoyed the poem. Several times. I've just been reading it again. Am I right or do I sense a great deal of irony there? Do you see it?