At work we’ve got a great charitable foundation, one of the best and perhaps the largest in China, that is helping kids in one of the poorest parts of the nation, Gansu Province. We received some boxes of gifts from some of these sweet kids living in poverty. These thoughtful kids, sent from the midst of poverty, included several boxes of noodles, some shoe inserts and cloth shoes, and some other things. Most of the gifts had one thing in common: the smell of poverty. A strong, almost overwhelming smell, the smell of second-hand tobacco smoke. It infused everything, so much so that I had to discard much of what they wanted to be accepted and used as gifts.
Those poor kids must live in a shroud of smoke that surely represents one of the biggest and certainly most wasteful expenses those families face. What a terrible way to live. They lack money for decent food, but dad can puff away their meagre earnings all day until even their noodles reek.
Thank you, tobacco executives everywhere, for helping to fulfill the prophecy of Christ: “the poor you will always have with you.” But also thanks to your help, they won’t be among us for all that long once the lung cancer or other tobacco-induced ailments kick in. Why do we accept these illegitimate, parasitic companies spawning death, pollution, and poverty? Depart!