Articles : Overload Mentality!

Posted on: 2014-01-26
Source: Rev. Fr. Peter Akinola

How difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven! It is easier for a Carmel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven!!
This paraphrasing of the actual words of Jesus in the synoptic gospels, on the very immediate glance has the tempting possibility to opine that the rich are doomed! If the end of man is to seek eternal beatitude with his Creator; if after judgement comes eternal life or eternal damnation, then is it not better to remain materially poor, so as to find it easier to enjoy eternal bliss?
Nevertheless, a more critical look into this passage and its translation to existential reality will reveal that rather than talking about material riches per se, this passage is actually addressing the case of mental/internal poverty. This kind of poverty makes man to grab material wealth without ceasing; its root is to be found in the insecurity of the future and a reduction of man's existence from BEING to HAVING!
It is amazing the way such poverty has led many a man to the point of becoming incinerators where wastes are thrown. Waste? Did I just say waste? Certainly yes! A waste in this context refers to that product, substance or structure which is actually not needed. It can be looked out from the agricultural perspective where the difference between a plant and a weed is not so much in the edibility of the growing crop, but in its being intended, being planted for necessity sake. As such, even if cocoa crop grows where tomatoes are planted, it is considered a weed and meant to be uprooted, to give space to planted crops.
Men who live with poverty mentality acquire without necessity, accumulate without need, purchase without reason! It is as regards people like this that the Yorubas say "èyí yóò wúlò, t'òhún yóò wúlò, níí mún ęrù wèrè po" (a mad carries so much load because he cannot take his eyes off anything). Thus, a mentally poor person gathers for nothing! With a bag load of belongings unused at hand, he goes out to purchase even more. His reasons for doing so varies from; a seeming reduction in the price of commodity, a craze for what is in vogue, a shallowness in thinking which presents itself that to be social is to have everything like others, a lack of or low self-esteem, an unreasonable dependence on world of adverts etc.
It is for some or all of these reasons that make many people go into purchasing even what is not needed. The more dangerous aspect is the fact that once bought; such commodities are not easily disposed of again. Even in the face of the reality that they are not used and are not to be of use in the most reasonable future, they are still kept! Thus they become a load unto the owner; unnecessary obstacles to free movement and comfortable living. They blindfold the eyes of the owner to seeing beyond these material goods and gradually lead to his or her destruction. The case of the rich young man (cf. Mark 10: 17-31) and the rich fool (cf. Lk 12:13-21) in the scriptures are examples of how mental poverty can lead to physical and spiritual self-destruction.
The next time you are going on a journey, check your luggage well; does it contain needs or waste? Check today your wardrobe and consider the wastes that you have packed therein. Ask yourself today why you are that filled with the Overload Mentality.