Percy Bysshe Shelley is listed as a romantic poet. Romanticism in poetry is defined as the development of the individual and embracing of the natural world in poetic form. “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” is attributed to Percy Bysshe Shelley. He further wrote that “to him that hath, more shall be given; and from him that hath not, the little that hath shall be taken away.”
These verses are from his poem, “Men of England.”
Have ye leisure, comfort and calm
Or what is it ye buy so dear
Without your pain and with your dear.
Sow seeds, another reaps;
The wealth ye find, another keeps;
The robes ye weave, another wears;
The arms ye forge, another bears.
It is true what he wrote and it is a sad and strong statement. I will support it by giving examples. We all love sales. Have you observed how they tempt us? Buy two and get the third free and it goes on. What if I have money for only one item, then I get a slight discount but if I buy more, the greater the discount. This applies in everything, the more expensive an item, the greater the benefits. Is it fair? Why can’t one get a discount if one is not able to buy more than one item.
I am raising this issue because it is real, and the sweet deals are only given when one consumes more. Is it reasonable that the needy are ignored and wealth begets wealth.
In all this do we pause to consider our Mother Earth. Are we realistic when we buy things in large amounts because they are cheaper. We create scarcity and the underprivileged get next to nothing.
Conspicuous consumption is everywhere
I remember a story my mother was very fond of narrating. She was walking on the banks of the river and she saw a woman, half washing her saree, drying it, putting on the dried half and then washing the rest of it. She had only one saree.
What can we do? We can enable marginalized persons to learn skills and thus have a better future. It is not difficult; we have to extend ourselves and our resources.
Swami Satyananda adopted a village in Rikhiya and empowered the children to study, develop computer skills and have a vocation. This is an example of what we can do and help the under privileged to have a good life.
It always comes to love, serve and give, Swami Sivananda’s quote.
Aim Hrim Klim