The news in the Marianas Variety regarding "CHC in talks with flying docs" about the CNMI qualifying as the poorest of the poor is downright absurd and stupid. Of course we may run out of cash, we may run out of material things for comfort but no one in the CNMI will ever be hungry, even on Saipan. The mission that operates under the "Mother Teresa Principle" is for the truly poor. That is, people without food and shelter. In the CNMI, there is ample food and shelter and only the truly stupid will disagree. On Rota for example, there is an abundance of food all around the island. You name it, coconut, breadfruits, breadfruit nuts (docdoc), fish, crabs, and many other food sources that anyone can turn to for sustenance. What we may not have is money or material things.
Those people Mother Teresa was targeting were kids or adults that were skin and bones due to the lack of food and the lack of shelter; the truly poor. Look around you. Here in the CNMI we call our poor that are normally overweight poor, those without money but ample food stamp to buy food for sustenance. No, I don’t call them poor, I call them unfortunate because of the fact that they do not have the education to turn to the ample resources where they can make a living.
We are rich with resources. We are simply not making good use of those resources that are available around us. We have abundance of food. We have abundance of shelters, look at the hundreds of empty building. More than 75 percent of the entire CNMI population is overweight. Our health crises is proof of this. Heart disease, diabetes and many other health related issues prove that we are rich in food and shelter, quite the opposite of those people in India that Mother Teresa was helping. No wonder why most of us in the CNMI look like pigs, we have so much food. I myself used to look like a pig. I had a heart attack and diabetes and now I stopped behaving like a pig. Look around, many of us behave like pigs. What we need is a change of behavior and a change of attitude, otherwise we should be looking at the mirror and really ask ourselves: What is my problem? If the whole CNMI can focus on that, maybe we can all help the corporation and change our approach by having a program of prevention instead of a cure of what could have been prevented in the first place.
Just like our government, we are trying to fix something that could have been prevented. Just like our economy, we first destroyed it way back and every single election we talk about fixing it.
Frank M. Atalig