Everybody loves the poor. Come election time, every politician is suddenly a champion for the poor. It is this apparent concern for the welfare of the poor that has been the convenient sentiment used by our leaders to convince the rest of us why the Reproductive Health Bill is urgent. With an RH law in place, they envision an improved way of life for the poor because they will know how to avoid having more children – the cause of their poverty.
But how much do we genuinely understand poverty? Who are the poor? Does having children make them poorer?
Meet Lou Xiaoying. She is an 88-year old Chinese woman who is suffering from kidney failure and may now be close to death. All her life, she made a meager living from recycling trash – “isang hamak na basurera”. Nothing seems remarkable about her profile. She perfectly matches the picture of the poor that could use the pro-RH formula to getting out of poverty: Don’t have kids.
Now comes the amazing twist: Lou may have no money or power to boast about, but to many (me, included), she stands taller than many congressmen, presidents and multi-billionaires combined. The Gates poured out billions to prevent women from having children. Obama gives his full supports for the abortion of the unborn. In China and India, they are wiping out the women from womb to tomb. And Lee? Believe it or not, in her poverty, she has taken cared of more than 30 abandoned infants. Yes, you read it right, more than 30 babies! Despite her very obvious lack of resources, this did not stop Lou from bringing home and caring for all the abandoned children she came across from collecting garbage in the streets of Jinhua, in the eastern Zhejiang province.
She said the most remarkable thing in this statement: “I realized if we had strength enough to collect garbage, how could we not recycle something as important as human lives? These children need love and care. They are all precious human lives. I do not understand how people can leave such a vulnerable baby on the streets.”
Lou puts to shame all those who think that children are a burden and that the poor are helpless in raising a family. Blessed Mother Teresa, who has come face-to-face with poverty in her work with the Missionaries of Charity, said that it is not the lack of money or the big size of one’s family that makes one poor. “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” And what a lonely world we are building by getting rid of the children and preventing their conception.
As for Lou, she seems to have nothing, but her life is full.
Lou proved to all that no one is too poor that he cannot give compassion to another human being. She was not made poorer by adopting abandoned children. On the contrary, her life and the lives of these babies she has saved were all made richer.
I found a hero among the poorest of the poor.
A treasure lies in the trash.
I wish we have more Lou Xiaoyings – people who will not look the other way and abandon life as if it is something disposable in the garbage.
Let us not forget, we were all once a mere speck of dust, until Someone picked us out of nothingness and decided to make a treasure out of trash.