The Rewards of Poverty

Raise your cupMany years ago, deep in the wilds of rural Maine, in a humble cottage at the edge of the big woods, lived a family of no means. In that cottage at the edge of the woods, lived a little girl. Tucked up under the eaves every night, this little girl was growing up poor. It was a world of poverty and want. It was a world of bricks heated on the woodstove, wrapped in newspaper and tucked under the covers to keep her tiny toes from freezing. It was a world of plastic bread wrappers worn inside leaky boots.

Hunger stalked about the door every day, looking for a chance to move in. But the little girl’s mother knew strong magic. She knew how to make soup from nothing to feed her brood. She knew how to stretch a penny until it screamed for mercy. She knew how to find a few coppers to tuck into a little girl’s pocket for a school field trip.

Faced with the rigors of growing up poor, the child grew strong. The kind taxpayers of the little town gave of their own money to fund a school for all of the children of the hamlet. And the little girl went gladly each day to the halls of learning. Nurtured by caring teachers, she learned valuable skills and gained knowledge that could help her leave behind the gnawing pangs of poverty. As she grew, she began to learn some magic tricks of her own. She learned to be a Cash Flow Wizard.

Lo, these many years later, dear friends, your Cash Flow Wizard has come to appreciate the great lessons of poverty. I learned to be resourceful. I learned to work hard for what I want. I learned to keep going when things were tough. I learned all sorts of valuable skills in order to survive. I learned how to get by on a tiny budget. And I grew a fine, strong backbone. In fact, growing up in poverty and want gave me all the tools I needed to start a business and to make it successful. That’s a rewards program you won’t find anywhere else.

So, during this season of celebration, raise a cup to the hardships that strengthen us and the resolve that keeps us going. And give generously to those causes that bring hope to those who need it. It matters.

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