Thomas Awiapo: Three greedy hunters

One of the greatest and joyful memories of my miserable childhood was story time. At night, when the moon was full and brightest, our parents gathered all children around them and in a dramatic and vivid manner told us story after story after story. Parents inculcated a good dose of social, cultural, religious and moral values into children through creative story telling. It was fun time.

One of the stories I will forever remember is entitled, “The Three Greedy Hunters”. This is how the story begun: Once upon a time, three hunters went hunting. After hunting the whole day with all enthusiasm and skill, they failed to catch any prey. They were disappointed and frustrated. Just when they were about to give up, they spotted a big fat rabbit. As they raced after the rabbit, it escaped into a hole underground. The hunters feeling that the rabbit was their only hope and source of dinner, they started to dig after it. As they dug deeper and deeper into the hole, instead of finding the rabbit, they discovered a big box of g-o-l-d.

The gift of gold instead of a rabbit, wow! What a miracle and a blessing from God, they shouted in jubilation. We will now be the richest people and most respected in our community. After they calmed down from their jubilant mood, they realized they were so hungry they needed to eat before sharing the booty from heaven. One of the hunters was dispatched to a neighboring village to buy food for them to eat while the other two guarded fiercely and jealously over their wealth. The two hunters who were watching over the gold hatched a plan to lynch the one who went to buy the food just so that the gold can be shared among two people instead of three. This will make us richer and more powerful, they said The hunter who went to buy the food also planned to put deadly poison in the food after eating his share in order to kill the two hunters so that he does not have to share the gold with anyone, then he will be the richest in the village.
Both parties successfully executed their murder plans. The result was, all three hunters laid dead around a big box of gold and there was nobody left to share the gold.

Dear friends, our world is so consumed in greed; our humanity is being consumed by greed and unless we destroy greed, greed will destroy us like the three greedy hunters. Without pointing fingers, I humbly urge you to take a flash back in history, examine any human atrocity that has ever occurred on face of earth, and you will trace the root cause to greed. Think about the scramble and partition of Africa by colonizers, the transatlantic slave trade, and the numerous deadly and destructive conflicts that plague the face of earth, the cancer of corruption. It is all about greed for economic and material supremacy; it’s about greed for political and religious dominance.

To paraphrase the words of Mother Teresa, God in His great love and wisdom provided enough for our needs in this world but certainly not enough for our greed. There is nothing wrong with being rich and there is nothing wrong with being poor though it hurts but there is definitely something grievously wrong with being greedy. The consequence of greed is destruction. We either destroy greed or greed will destroy us.

– Thomas Awiapo
As a child in Ghana, Thomas Awiapo was a beneficiary of CRS school feeding programs. Now, as an adult, he works for CRS Ghana and travels to the U.S. annually to tell his inspiring story to American Catholics at schools, parishes and communities. Thomas will be a featured guest blogger and will be reporting from Ghana about the issues he witnesses firsthand.

Watch the video: Empowered for Life: The Thomas Awiapo Story.

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