Category Archives: Poverty

You Can Change the World

James Watt was born on January 19, 1736 in Scotland, in the small port of Greenock near the mouth of the River Clyde. His father is a trained carpenter and can build anything, from furniture to ships. Mr. Watt’s fine business sense and skills brought good money into the family’s home. Although not rich, he and his wife Agnes were comfortable. They needed that comfort, for their home life together was blighted by sadness. Agnes had baby after baby, and they all died.

When James was born, she re-doubled her efforts to protect her baby from the dozens of illnesses that threatened children then. This time, she succeeded and James – a thin, weakly little boy – survived. But his ailments survived with him. All through his childhood, he suffered from migraines and dreadful toothaches, and they condemned him to a sort of double life. One day, he’d be talkative, friendly, interested in everyone and everything around him; the next, he’d lost in a haze of pain.

He was obviously bright but, at first, his migraines stopped him attending school. So his parents – themselves highly intelligent – started educating him at home. Agnes taught him to read; her husband, busy though he was, made time to give him lessons in writing and arithmetic. He also gave him a small carpentry set; armed with miniature saws and chisels, the boy took all his toys to pieces, put them together again, and then invented new ones.

James spent a childhood as happy as his troubled health would allow. Watt learned everything about his father’s business and by mid-teens, his mind was made up. He wanted to be a maker of scientific instruments, not a carpenter nor a shipwright.

In 1754, he left home to acquire more training in Glasgow. Later, he was over-worked, under-nourished and rejected until he met Joseph Black, a hugely-distinguished scientist who’d just been appointed professor of chemistry of Glasgow University. Black arranged things so that Watt could set up shop in the university grounds. And they made it official by giving him the title of “Mathematical Instrument Maker to the University”. This was all the support Watt needed to achieve his dream. He eventually invented a new improved steam engine.

His steam engine was faster, cheaper and more powerful than any earlier model. His Steam Engine was to harness power in a way never achieved before and one that would mark the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Before the ‘Steam Age’ energy was provided by humans actually pushing and pulling, horses, wind or water – all of which have one main problem: they are controlled by nature, unpredictable, unreliable and not very strong.

The new steam engine could be used to pump the mines clear of water, to speed up production in the cotton mills, the flour mills, the steel factories. It changed the face of the world industrially and socially – papers were printed faster, trains were invented for land and steamships for water. Industry moved from a home-based craft trade to factory-based mass production. James Watt’s steam engine changed the world itself.

You too, can change the world. Make it happen.

Culled from Uju Onyechere’s post on MODELS AND MENTORS INT’L group on Facebook.

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Start with Yourself

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Madame C.J. Walker

Madame C. J. Walker was born as Sarah Breedlove to poor farmers Minerva and Owen Breedlove on December 23, 1867 on the shores of the Mississippi River, on a cotton plantation in Delta, Louisiana, USA. Exactly two years after the abolition of slave trade.

She was orphaned at age seven, married at fourteen and became a widow and mother at twenty. She experienced hardships and discrimination typical of the United States at the time. As a result of her parents’ death, she was forced to move from one household to another.

Continue reading Start with Yourself

10 Funny Ways to Remain Poor

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Some people (like I used to believe when I was a kid) wish for riches but would not do what it takes to get rich. These words keep echoing to my head every time I am at crossroads with life decisions – “If it has to be, it is up to me” (If I want to get rich, I must work hard to become rich). I cannot recall where I saw this post but I know I copied it from somewhere (possibly a friend’s facebook post or blog, I still cannot recall). It is worth sharing because it tells me not to be lazy or carefree with my resources. Enjoy it and learn along the line.

1. Never wake up early.

Keep stretching & turning in bed until you get too hungry to continue dozing. If there are no bedbugs, why hurry to get up?

2. Never plan how to spend your money.

Whenever you get money, start spending it right away and when it’s finished, you try to count and recall how you spent it.

3. Don’t think of saving until you have real big money.

How can you save when you earn so little?? Those telling you to save are not sympathetic to your burning needs.

4. Don’t engage in activities usually reserved for the “uneducated“.

How can you a [well school, high-class] graduate engage in petty trade or home based production?? That’s for people who never went to school.

5. Don’t think of starting a business until an angel comes from heaven & give YOU capital.

How do they expect YOU to invest before YOU get millions of dollars?? Even though more than half the businesses in your town were started with a few hundred dollar, you as a smart person can only start with millions.

6. Complain about everything expect your own attitude.

Blame the system the government & the banks that refuse to lend you money. They are all bad & do not want you to get rich.

7. Spend more than you earn.

To achieve this, buy consumer product on credit & keep borrowing from friends & employers.

8. Compete in dressing.

Make sure you wear the latest clothes among all workers in your offer. Whenever your neighbor buys a new phone, you get one that is more expensive.

9. Get yourself a nice second hand car that costs more than three times your gross monthly pay.

10. Give your children everything they ask for since you’re such a loving parent.

They should not struggle for anything because you do not want them to suffer that
way, they will grow up lazy & hence poor enough to ensure they can’t help you in old age.

Chase poverty away, embrace riches…