I have always been intrigued by the fine line that exists between being a person who is relatively rich and turning, overnight, into a relatively poor person. In my other life a politician I had met a number of middle class families so to speak who were living comfortable until illness or marriage breakdown struck and all of a sudden they ended up living from one day to another.

One case still comes to mind. A family living in the central part of Malta where the father, aged 50 something suffered a severe stroke and ended up bed-bound. The house they used to live in was not accessible and therefore finding another house became a must. But they could not afford to buy another one because there were financial commitments to be honoured including paying the children’s tuition fees.  The children attended a private school because up to now the parents could afford it. So in the new circumstances they tried to apply for alternative accommodation however  they got disqualified because their level of income was high until tragedy struck.

At that time I could not help them more than I could. I really hope this family eventually got the help that it needed. The point I want to make is that one can never take things for granted and believe there is no tomorrow. Tomorrow may not be as bright as today. So thinking about the rainy days when there is sunshine makes a lot of sense. But there is another point. Society, policy makers and decision takers need to be flexible enough to be able to help those who end up in a hole, even for a short period in life.