I became aware of an extreme example of those who have; and, those who have not. The nation of Swaziland celebrated it’s 40th independence day as well as the King of Swazi’s 40th birthday in an ostentatious way. The King Mswati was driven around in a convertible BMW flaunting his weath in a country that is overwhelmed with extreme poverty. The nation has been devastated by the AIDS epidemic; it has the world’s highest AIDs rate. This means that many households are not able to earn enough money to provide for their families; because many households are headed up by children because of the plague of AIDs. Those homes that are affected by AIDS may not be healthy enough to work. Many individuals only get enough food to eat because of international food aid. This is a terribly sad event.
This lack of basic necessities limits the average person’s ability to influence powerful changes, in a country that desperately needs to improve it’s quality of life. In my mind, if the country has that kind of money…i have to wonder, why is the international community forced to provide food aid in the first place? Those people should be coming first, in my mind, to the King of that country… he and his family should not be living a lifestyle that feeds off of riches…while his own subjects are forced to accept help from outside countries! That should be considered shameful to the King of Swaziland and it’s officials. It is, to me, a failure to fulfill his duties to provide care for the people under his rule.
The country’s celebration included a shopping trip to Dubai, by some of the King’s 13 wives. There were fleets of cars that drove around powerful individuals to official functions such as parades and ceremonies. It has been announced that the celebrations were accomplished at a cost of 2.5 million dollars…but, others estimate that the actual costs were many times higher than that. This sort of, in your face, spending and wasteful disregard of the nations coffers was supposed to inspire the people to vote for individuals in the parlimentary elections next month; to help fight to overcome the nations problems. The government has been suspected of having a figurehead of political puppets with no clear issues on their political agendas.
How are people supposed to be inspired to greatness; or, motivated to accomplish positive changes, when their own officials are rolling in material wealth; when most of it’s people don’t even live past the age of 40? Is it motivation to tease them with what those in the government have in excess, when the everyday people barely survive?
It is not a problem isolated to Swaziland. In any given culture, there are those who bathe in riches and do little good with it but to serve their own wants and needs. When anyone in a position of recognition, or power, has an apparent unending supply of money and material things at their disposal, and do little with it to help others; it breeds contempt, anger, envy, and jealousy…it does not inspire, it does not motivate, it does not engender good will towards the person who has it all. That type of flagrant showing off or bragging only brings unrest and resentment.
Celebrities, wealthy business owners, sports figures, politicians, musicians, royalty, and so on…would do well to flaunt those riches less; and, do more productive and powerful good will, towards their fellow men and women. It is ignorant to think that by flaunting what they have in front of those who do not have that it, that it will motivate or inspire those people who have not to follow suit. Most of the time, those who have not…have not had the same opportunities, connections, skills, or resources available to them to achieve the same type of outcome! Do people who have immense wealth have an obligation to give to charity?