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THE OPEN HAVERSACK: A show of greed


Rhonda Blackman

THE OPEN HAVERSACK: A show of greed

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Quite recently I attended a thanksgiving “feast” at a church. It was indeed a sight to behold, for there was a beautiful assortment of fruits organized on numerous tables strategically placed at various points within the church. I was in awe not only at the arrangements but at the variety of food available.
I was then taken to an upstairs area which left me dumbfounded, for there I saw more tables of fruits – thousands of them – cakes and food of every kind – pork, ham, cou-cou, soup, rice, pie; you name it, it was there. With no exaggeration there was food that could feed “the five thousand”.
What really set me thinking was the number of persons I saw congregating outside the church environs, some with backpacks, sacks and card boxes. There were children, pregnant women, dreadlocked people, people of all kinds. Of great interest was that they were not attending the service but were waiting to be part of the “feast”.
I took it upon myself to ask one of the deacons to explain the feast and was informed that it is an annual event. At the end of the service all those present could partake of the produce and food. I was also surprised to hear that there was no limit to what an individual could take. I was pleased with this initiative of the church and voiced my pleasure.
However, I had some fears as to how individuals would partake thereof and I sat in anticipation awaiting the conclusion of the service.
My fear was soon realized, for after the blessing and persons were informed that they could partake thereof, there was a mad rush to the various tables from those within the church and those standing on the outside. Never in my life had I seen so much greed.
Persons were grabbing and pushing to get as much of the products that they could. I must also say that children were also part of this process.
One man had his sack full, another woman had a box and she just used her arms and swept almost everything from the table into her box. I stood in amazement as I could not believe my eyes. What greed! It was as if no one thought of the other person.
The greed was also seen as I saw persons with plates of food stacked high, overflowing, and some with as much as three or four plates. I thought that this was selfish and excessive. It also made me wonder what values adults are teaching children.
Adults must be mindful that children “live what they learn”.  They imitate what they see adults do, therefore it is important to teach children gratitude and not how to be greedy. Remember Proverbs 28:25: “A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.”
 Rhonda A. Blackman is an educator, National Development Scholar and former president of the Early Childhood Association of Barbados Inc.; email [email protected]

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