Abundance, one would think would awaken a like abundance in the heart, a kind of overflowing joy. And so it does. But it can't hide the struggle and the fear of the poor getting ever poorer; one can't help think of the biblical passage 'to those who have shall more be given, and to those who have not, even what they have will be taken away.'
But it isn't only the world economic situation that is the problem. There seems to be a certain kind of person who needs to take away the little that the poor have, and there seem to be certain kinds of personalities who may or may not be destitute who threaten such people in a way that they seem to attract perpetual dispossession. They are somehow not equated with other human beings: single women suffer from this a lot, but there are men, too. It's another one of those moral conundrums that baffle me.
The dean of a major cathedral that shall remain unnamed once invited me to speak. He paid all his other speakers in the series but for some reason he was bound and determined he was not going to pay me. All of the other speakers were doing very well, thank you; the dean had a fat salary and a beautiful house. But I in my poverty and impermanence was to have nothing.
I had arranged to stay gratis in a retreat house in the city and suddenly realized by intuition that the dean was planning to use his muscle to change my reservation and force me to stay with him and his wife so I would be "obliged" to speak. My phone call to the retreat house telling them under no circumstances to let anyone change my reservation, not even the dean of the cathedral, beat his by thirty seconds, I was later told.
I was so angry to be exploited like this that I stood firm: no money, no talk. In his self-delusion the dean evidently thought I wouldn't dare stand him up, or pass up the chance to speak in a cathedral, but stand him up I did. I had never agreed to do the talk, but in his arrogance and contempt he had gone ahead and scheduled and advertised it.
I was sorry to disappoint people—it's the only talk I have ever missed—but then I never agreed to it in the first place. And while I realise the exposure might have been good, experience proves that exposure rarely leads to follow-up, survival cash. Instead, one gets a reputation as an easy mark.
What motivates the sort of person like the Dean that they are determined to keep others down and out? Though they themselves are rolling in dough, they are adamant that those who have something to say but are not part of the system should be exploited? Why would it have hurt Mr Moneybags to financially compensate me for the information and presentation he evidently badly wanted for his cathedral? Again, I could use some help with this.