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Spiritual: October 28, 2020 Issue [#10440]

 This week: Teach a Man to Fish...
  Edited by: Kitti
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

You would think that the decision to feed hungry children would be an uncontroversial one... Welcome to 2020.

This week's Spiritual Newsletter is all about helping those in need. And about fish.


Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. – Lao Tzu (possibly)

Last week, here in the UK, 322 members of the government voted against a motion to provide school children from low-income families with food vouchers over the school holidays. Whilst normally children from low-income families receive free school meals only during term time, a kind young footballer named Marcus Rashford had campaigned to extend help to children over the summer holiday, in recognition that child poverty numbers are growing, and there’s a pandemic going on and, anyway, kids still have to eat when schools are closed. Rashford’s campaign was successful, and he received an MBE for his efforts. And then the government decided that that was that, and children could go hungry again during half-term and over Christmas. Or, English kids could. The devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland reasoned that it was A Good Thing to feed children, and extended assistance through to spring 2021.

This time, the government wasn’t for swaying. All manner of excuses were thrown on the table. It is political point scoring, they declared. Parents ought to look after their own – their children aren’t anyone else’s responsibility! And the fish was brought into it, of course.

There appears to be a line of thought in British politics – quite possibly elsewhere, too – that if people are poor, it’s their own fault. That poor people are deficient in some way. That, therefore, they deserve to suffer. That if someone is wealthy, it must be down to some innate quality, a superiority, meaning that wealthy people deserve good things. Good things that others do not. There are obvious flaws in that kind of thinking. Where we are born and into what circumstances is not of our own choosing. Those born into wealth grow up with many advantages – better schools, tutors, connections, for example. Even better nutrition helps, as it assists growth and general health, and kids can focus better when their bellies are full. Poor people are often told to do better, be better, and some do climb the ladder, but there are many jobs that pay low wages that still need doing, and so there will always be those who work those necessary jobs who not only struggle to make ends meet, they are looked down on in the process.

We’re in a pandemic. A pandemic that has left many people without a job, or saw their income drop. In my little street alone several people were made redundant. Other people are trying to live off only a percentage of their regular income. It’s all well and good to deny assistance under these circumstances by talking about how people ought to learn better skills, to retrain, to work harder somehow, but my neighbours are skilled. They do necessary jobs. They have done nothing wrong. It’s not very helpful to teach a man to fish if he’s stuck in the middle of a desert…

What gets me is that many of the Members of Parliament (MPs) who voted against assistance for children claim to be people of faith. My own MP is a Christian. I wonder if he’s ever read the Bible, because I may not be the most knowledgeable when it comes to the Book, but I am rather certain that Jesus shared His bread, and he shared His fish, and I know what He said about feeding the hungry.

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

- Matthew 25:35-40

We live in a time when many don’t like to help others. When some, it seems, even take pleasure in denying others proper support. It is sad to see. I am heartened, however, that not everyone is like that. In response to the government’s decision many businesses and individuals of a variety of faiths (and none) have taken it upon themselves to feed those in need. From big restaurants to small shops struggling through the pandemic, meals have been offered to those who need them. Churches, mosques and gurdwaras have opened their doors. A little girl decided to bake fairy cakes to raise funds for hungry children. There is still hope. There is still love.

It’s been a difficult year and it looks like it may be a while before the skies clear. We need each other. We need to support one another. It’s the right thing to do.


Editor's Picks

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The Dialogue 500  (18+)
Dialogues of 500 words or less.
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If you need some support:

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And don't forget:

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Wishing you a week filled with inspiration,

The Spiritual Newsletter Team

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