Poverty is a funny phenomenon. It is always defined financially and always relative to what other people earn. It is possible to be extremely happy despite having little money and being officially categorised as poverty-stricken. You can also be really unhappy despite earning a high salary. Those who always want something more will always live in poverty, regardless of how much they earn, while those who are content with what they have will always feel they have an abundance. Most poverty in the UK isn't material poverty, it's spiritual poverty, a state of mind in which fulfilment comes only from the pursuit of material gain.
There are many forms of poverty: economic poverty, physical poverty, emotional poverty, mental poverty, and spiritual poverty. As long as we relate primarily to each other's wealth, health, stability, intelligence, and soul strength, we cannot develop true community. Community is not a talent show in which we dazzle the world with our combined gifts. Community is the place where our poverty is acknowledged and accepted, not as something we have to learn to cope with as best as we can but as a true source of new life. Living community in whatever form - family, parish, twelve-step program, or intentional community - challenges us to come together at the place of our poverty, believing that there we can reveal our richness.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Poverty is a strange and elusive thing. ... I condemn poverty and I advocate it; poverty is simple and complex at once; it is a social phenomenon and a personal matter. Poverty is an elusive thing, and a paradoxical one. We need always to be thinking and writing about it, for if we are not among its victims its reality fades from us. We must talk about poverty because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it.
How can we embrace poverty as a way to God when everyone around us wants to become rich? Poverty has many forms. We have to ask ourselves: 'What is my poverty?' Is it lack of money, lack of emotional stability, lack of a loving partner, lack of security, lack of safety, lack of self-confidence? Each human being has a place of poverty. That's the place where God wants to dwell! 'How blessed are the poor,' Jesus says (Matthew 5:3). This means that our blessing is hidden in our poverty. We are so inclined to cover up our poverty and ignore it that we often miss the opportunity to discover God, who dwells in it. Let's dare to see our poverty as the land where our treasure is hidden.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Poverty is the events of forced separation of mass from the nature. Poverty is not the cause but the outcome. Poverty is not natural, it is created, it is abnormal, unexpected and unwanted. Its was never part of the nature and never will be. Poverty has been engineered by few Unwise, irresponsible and selfish individuals.
Seek the simplest in all things, in food, clothing, without being ashamed of poverty. For a great part of the world lives in poverty. Do not say, "I am the son of a rich man. It is shameful for me to be in poverty." Christ, your Heavenly Father, Who gave birth to you in the baptistery, is not in worldly riches. Rather he walked in poverty and had nowhere to lay His head.
Gennadius of Constantinople
We're looking at the singular condition of poverty. All the other individual problems spring from that condition... doesn't matter if it's death, aid, trade, AIDS, famine, instability, governance, corruption or war. All of that is poverty. Our problem is that everybody tries to heal each of the individual aspects of poverty, not poverty itself.
Real poverty is when hunger pangs force from my mind all thoughts but those of food. Real poverty is when the children are not dressed warmly enough for winter. Real poverty is when the housing we can afford is not adequate to the needs of our families. On the other hand, real poverty is - equally - when I have eaten so much that I am uncomfortable, and again, my thoughts center on food. Or when I have so many clothes that I have to spend a lot of mental energy making choices among them or finding ways to store them. Or when, regardless of my living conditions, I am discontent and brooding about how to have more. Real poverty is when material things are uppermost and pressing - whether because we have too few or too many of them. It is poverty, because the human mind and spirit are made for higher things, worthier pursuits.
Racism is not nearly as important as poverty. That's the same around the world. What look like ethnic problems are really economic issues. If you look closely at all these conflicts around the world, they come down to poverty and economics and resources. The more poverty, the worse the war.
Inevitably, people tell me that poor folks are lazy or unintelligent, that they are somehow deserving of their poverty. However, if you begin to look at the sociological literature on poverty, a more complex picture emerges. Poverty and unemployment are part and parcel of our economic order. Without them, capitalism would cease to function effectively, and in order to continue to function, the system itself must produce poverty and an army of underemployed or unemployed people.
There is little favorable to be said about poverty, but it was often an incubator of true friendship. Many people will appear to befriend you when you are wealthy, but precious few will do the same when you are poor. If wealth is a magnet, poverty is a kind of repellent. Yet, poverty often brings out the true generosity in others.
Hunger, disease and poverty can lead to global instability and leave a vacuum for extremism to fill. So instead of just managing poverty, we must offer nations and people a pathway out of poverty. And as president I've made development a pillar of our foreign policy, alongside diplomacy and defense.
Pope Francis emphatically does not buy the argument that poverty can be alleviated by the 'trickle down' effects of wealth creation. He is deaf to arguments that the global economy has brought a billion people out of poverty. He is convinced, in short, that the best and only way to expel poverty is fairer distribution of the world's goods.
I was born in a very poor family. I used to sell tea in a railway coach as a child. My mother used to wash utensils and do lowly household work in the houses of others to earn a livelihood. I have seen poverty very closely. I have lived in poverty. As a child, my entire childhood was steeped in poverty.
We measure poverty by what I believe is a very, very crude concept. We actually measure poverty by trying to get some kind of an estimate of the minimum expenditures on food that are required to maintain health, multiplying that number by three, and saying that's the level of poverty. And it's a very crude, inaccurate arrangement.
It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. What you see is what you get.
So far it has been assumed that the only pregnancies which are aborted are accidental ones and the only foetuses destroyed those whose mothers could not bear the thought of their becoming children. In a just world this would be the case, but the world is far from just. Too many women are forced to abort by poverty, by their menfolk, by their parents. Poverty has many faces; it may be the poverty of the young, the unmarried, the student, the unemployed, the female or a combination of these.
Poverty should be one of the top concerns for any elected leader. It has a negative effect on almost everything we as society entrust our government to do, but it seems that those in the Republican Party find it is more politically viable to fight a war on the people in poverty than it is to fight a war to end poverty in this country.
I strongly believe that we can create a poverty-free world, if we want to.... In that kind of world, [the] only place you can see poverty is in the museum. When school children will be on a tour of the poverty museum, they will be horrified to see the misery and indignity of human beings. They will blame their forefathers for tolerating this inhuman condition to continue in a massive way.
Capitalism with near-full employment was an impressive spectacle. But a growth in wealth is not at all the same thing as reducing poverty. A universal paean was raised in praise of growth. Growth was going to solve all problems. No need to bother about poverty. Growth will lift up the bottom and poverty will disappear without any need to pay attention to it. The economists, who should have known better, fell in with the same cry.
Waiting. Waiting. What would you do if your family was starving and you saw people dying in the streets? 'Love thy neighbor.' Didn't I read that somewhere? The real war is not in Iraq, but right here in America. It's the War on Poverty, and it's a war that's been ignored and lost. An estimated 37 million Americans are living in poverty. New Orleans is one of the poorest cities in the country, with 40 percent of its children living in poverty. Mississippi has the highest poverty rate of any state. We've repeatedly given tax cuts to the wealthiest and left our most vulnerable American citizens to basically fend for themselves.
In the treatment of poverty nationally, one fact stands out: there are twice as many white poor as Negro poor in the United States. Therefore I will not dwell on the experiences of poverty that derive from racial discrimination, but will discuss the poverty that affects white and Negro alike.
Martin Luther King Jr.
At the very least, you must make the Internet free in areas that are poverty-stricken. Without the Internet and access to information, poverty-stricken households will never catch up to households above the poverty line - throwing the African-American community deeper into the stone ages.
The times talk to us of so much poverty in the world and this is a scandal. Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry.
If farmers become weak the country loses self-reliance but if they are strong, freedom also becomes strong. If we do not maintain our progress in agriculture, poverty cannot be eliminated from India.But our biggest poverty alleviation programme is to improve the living standard of our farmers. The thrust of our poverty alleviation programmes is on the uplift of the farmers.
Global poverty is one of the most pressing moral challenges we face today. Yet, it's more than just a moral problem that billions of people around the world are struggling to survive. It is also in our national security interests that we reduce global poverty. Populations that struggle in extreme poverty are more likely to become mired in destabilizing conflicts, or worse, become havens or recruiting grounds for terrorist organizations. This is an issue that we cannot afford to neglect.
Unemployment in the sense of distress is widely disappearing. . . . We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land. The poor-house is vanishing from among us. We have not yet reached the goal, but given a change to go forward with the policies of the last eight years, and we shall soon with he help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this nation. There is no guarantee against poverty equal to a job for every man. That is the primary purpose of the economic policies we advocate
Let us look at wealth and poverty. The affluent society and the deprived society inter-are. The wealth of one society is made of the poverty of the other. "This is like this, because that is like that." Wealth is made of non-wealth elements, and poverty is made by non-poverty elements. [...] so we must be careful not to imprison ourselves in concepts. The truth is that everything contains everything else. We cannot just be, we can only inter-be. We are responsible fo everything that happens around us.
The primary cause of disorder and lawlessness today, as throughout history, is the poverty of the many in contrast to the affluence of the few. But a new element of unrest has been added: a growing awareness that mass poverty is caused by defective institutions that prevent our harnessing the physical capabilities of science, engineering, management and labor to create general affluence; in other words, a growing awareness that poverty in any country that is or can be industrialized, is man's not nature's fault.
Louis O. Kelso
No matter what the cause, even though it be to conquer with tanks and planes and modern artillery some defenseless black population, there will be no lack of poets and preachers and essayists and philosophers to invent the necessary reasons and gild the infamy with righteousness. To this righteousness there is, of course, never an adequate reply. Thus a war to end poverty becomes an unanswerable enterprise. For who can decently be for poverty? To even debate whether the war will end poverty becomes an exhibition of ugly pragmatism and the sign of an ignoble mind.
John T. Flynn
Government programs aim at getting money for poor people. Our hope was that knowledge would in the long run be more useful, provide more money, and eventually strike at the system-causes of poverty. Government believes that poverty is just a lack of money. We felt, and continue to feel, that poverty is actually a lack of skill, and a lack of the self-esteem that comes with being able to take some part of one's life into one's own hands and work with others towards shared-call them social-goals.