Resolving Poverty

I hope that current members of Congress recall that it actually doesn't take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential. But it does require some courage to champion the vulnerable, and the sick, and the infirm. Those who often have no access to the corridors of power. I hope they understand that courage means not simply doing what is politically expedient, but doing what they believe deep in their hearts, is right. And this kind of courage is required from all of us. Those of us who consider ourselves progressives, those of us who are democrats, we've got some soul searching to do to see what kind of courage we show, we have our own dogmas. Those of us not in elected office, have to show some courage. We're prone to bestow the mantle of courage too easily on the prominent and the powerful , and then too eager to wrap ourselves in cynicism when they let us down when they weren't perfect. We lose sight sometimes of our own obligations - each of ours. All the quiet acts of courage that unfold around us every single day, ordinary Americans, who give something of themselves not for personal gain, but for the enduring benefit of another. -Barack Obama
Minute 56:56 - minute 1:00:00
When we recognize these acts of courage, we then necessarily recognize our own responsibilities as citizens, and as part of the human family to get involved, and to get engaged, and to take a stand to vote, to pay attention. -Barack Obama
Minute 32:02 - minute 36:11

The people who are changing the world are not the powerful, but very often the poor people. It's the power of generosity and justice. Not the power of money. The power is pure heart, and pure heart is when you serve the poor, you educate your heart, and when you serve the poor and educate your heart, this is the power of faith. Don't think that the people who are going to change this world are the more powerful. If you serve him (the poor man) you serve me (God), and you serve me - you can change the world. the rich people might push you to serve them. If you serve somebody who has nothing, it means that you might be close to God. Change the way you look, so that it's coming from your heart. When you deal with the poor, you understand that the poor people, the people who are marginalized, are treated by power and authority which is not acceptable sometimes. Every single human being has the same dignity. You can't accept any situation where there is a lack of dignity. Go and change the world. -Tariq Ramadan
Minute 4:23 - minute 5:28

Poverty is passed on. It's taught in your families. And "middle class" is taught in families. And so the people right now  who are struggling financially or worried about money, or unhappy with what they're doing, it was probably taught to you. Your super-ego was taught: get a job, work hard, or you'll never be rich, or "the rich are evil", or whatever. [Until you change your mindset, money won't help you. And we see that with people that win the lottery. People that make more money, they still have the same problems, because they have that poor man's soul. If you're poor. You'll always be poor. That's really hard for people to understand. The money will disappear that fast. Just like most pro athletes. They make millions of dollars, and what, 65% are bankrupt five years later - it's because they come from poorer families. Now you tell them that, they get very angry at you. "It's the rich's fault", "you guys ripped me off", and "the government ripped me off". -Robert Kiyosaki
Minute 00:01 - minute 2:25

The overpopulation seems to grow out of the quest of the oligarch to find a way to define other people as sub-human or non-human. If you look around, say Italy, and you look at sculpture and things you can find out in public squares - you'll see the oldest oligarchical trick in the book: humans and beasts. Humans and animals. Creatures part-human, part-animal. A very dangerous combination. The oligarch attempts to say that the common run of mankind is really an animal. But the oligarch, the people of wealth, family - these are inherently superior. So that the answer to the problem that this creates, tends to be the extermination of the poor, the useless eaters, the lower classes, the inferior, racial minorities of course are always a favorite (obvious) target. We can trace this back 3000 years. three millennia, that the world is overpopulated, and that technology is not available. So the oligarch says: if there are not enough hats, the answer is not to produce more hats but to cut off heads. And that's what you see. -Webster Tarpley

The abolition of welfare was the worst thing Clinton did, and there were people who resigned from his administration based on this treacherous act that he carried out. The abolition of welfare has created a permanent class of paupers. And these paupers are in extreme poverty. -Webster Tarpley
The abolition of welfare - Minute 6 - minute 9
A series of statistics published about the degree of poverty that you find in these strata. You're talking about a family of four living under less than $12,000 a year. This is just unspeakable. It's not clear how anybody can do this. The cost is going to be seen in cognitive impairment of children who have been denied sufficient protein in their diets when they're very young. that is barbarism, and it cannot be allowed, and there is no economic argument that can justify that. [...] they don't have medical insurance. -Webster Tarpley
When you go study homelessness, there are lots of causes of homelessness: mental incapacity issues are a very hard-to-cure problem. Serious drug addiction - a very hard-to-cure problem. But there's another bucket of homelessness which is transient homelessness, which is: a woman with kids, the father runs away, and he was the only person providing any income, and they have no support system - they have no family. That's transient homelessness. You can really help that person. And you by the way, only need to help them for 6 - 9 months, you get them trained, you get them a job. They're perfectly productive members of society. -Jeff Bezos
Minute 42:50
I truly believe that there should be a minimum wage of $15 an hour. [..] When somebody's not able to pay for themselves and/or their families, they go out and get government services. You know who pays for it? You. And for others, they're not even able to get the government services they need, so you know what happens? That's where we see people living on the streets. I don't want that. You know what else happens? That's when we see people have food insecurity - they can't feed themselves, they can't feed their kids. And so when we help people, when we're compassionate and we allow them to live their lives with a living wage, then not only do we make the country safer, but we put everybody in a position where they're not dependent on government decisions and government resources, and government tax revenue. -Mark Cuban

When a company doesn't pay a minimum wage and they have employees that are receiving government assistance, that means we as taxpayers, including you, subsidizes that company. That's wrong. I literally went through my companies and asked and checked to see if any of our employees were receiving government assistance. In terms of their wages, I made sure that none were in a situation where they qualified for government assistance because their wages weren't high enough. I don't want taxpayers to be subsidizing my business. So let's just raise the minimum wage to a living wage, and compete. Because that's what America's all about: capitalism. entrepreneurship, with a little bit of compassion thrown in. And I think we'll be a far better country to live in. -Mark Cuban
Minute 11:05

There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don't expect you to save the world I do think it's not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect. ― Nikki Giovanni

The United Nations estimates, in the last fifty years, poverty has been reduced more than in the preceding 500 years. Most of that reduction has taken place in the last twenty. -Fareed Zakaria (Commencement Speech, Harvard University, 2012)

There's so many good things going on in the world right now. Between the year 2000 and 2012, the level of absolute poverty in the world was cut by 50%. That was the fastest rate of improvement by a large margin in human history, it was three years faster than most optimistic projections had suggested. There's hundreds of thousands of people a week now being pulled into the electrical power grid. Almost everyone has access to almost infinite computational power and all the educational resources that go along with that. We're wiping out most transmissible diseases. The fastest growing economies in the world are in Sub-Saharan Africa. There's no starvation in China. There's a huge middle class in China and India. These things are absolutely miraculous. And God only knows what we could accomplish if we got our act together in the next twenty years. The sky's the limit. -Jordan Peterson

If we are not talking about adjusting policies, then we are not talking about eliminating poverty. -Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood

That man is richest, whose pleasures are the cheapest. -Henry David Thoreau

Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him. -BOOKER T. WASHINGTON

No matter how responsibly we live in our lives, hard times or bad luck, a crippling illness or a layoff may strike any one of us. And so part of our common tradition has expressed itself in a conviction that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security -- health care if you get sick, unemployment insurance if you lose your job, a dignified retirement after a lifetime of hard work. That commitment to our citizens has also been the reason for our leadership in the world. -Barack Obama

The seeds of poverty is not in the person. The seeds of poverty is in the system. Look at the banking, what it does, it refuses to accept their services to the majority of the world population. -Muhammad Yunus

The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth. -African proverb
“The law in its majestic equality forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” -Anatole France

If you really want to transform people out of poverty, you've got to create basic needs (food, shelter, eye sight, shoes, education) and then you gotta create jobs. -BLAKE MYCOSKIE

Poverty alleviation, it's really education and jobs. And we really try to focus on that. -BLAKE MYCOSKIE

We all know there is a cure for poverty. It's a rudimentary one. It does work though. It works everywhere, for the same reason. It's colloquially called the "empowerment of women". It's the only thing that does work. If you allow women some control over their cycle of reproduction, so that they're not chained by their husbands or by village custom to annual animal type pregnancies, early death, disease, and so on; If you will free them from that, give them some basic health of that sort, and if you're generous enough to throw in perhaps a handful of seeds and a bit of credit, the whole floor - culturally, socially, medically, economically, of that village will rise. It works every time. -Christopher Hitchens

One by one, people will investigate the Truth and put It into operation, and the time will come when disease and poverty will be swept from the face of the earth, for they were never intended to be. They are simply the by-products of ignorance, and enlightenment alone will erase them. -Ernest Holmes

If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be open-handed and freely lend them whatever they need. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. -Deuteronomy 15:7-11

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.  — Herman Melville, American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period

It is easy enough to tell the poor to accept their poverty as God's will when you yourself have warm clothes and plenty of food and medical care and a roof over your head and no worry about the rent. But if you want them to believe you—try to share some of their poverty and see if you can accept it as God's will yourself! — Thomas Merton, writer

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. — Gandhi, Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist

And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully. — Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty. — Mother Theresa, Saint

Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied...but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which as beggar is a reminder of nothing.” — John Berger, English art critic, novelist, painter and poet

Extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere.  — Kofi Annan, Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.   — Aristotle, Greek philosopher

Poverty is the worst form of violence.   — Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political and spiritual leader

Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn't commit.   — Eli Khamarov, writer

In a country well-governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.   — Confucius, Chinese philosopher

Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.  — Coco Chanel, French fashion designer

To live with Jesus is to live with the poor. To live with the poor is to live with Jesus.  — Jean Vanier

An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.  — Plutarch, Greek historian

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.  — Mother Teresa

The Bible insists that the best test of a nation's righteousness is how it treats the poorest and most vulnerable in its midst.  — Jim Wallis, Christian writer and social activist

Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth…these are one and the same fight.  — Ban Ki-moon, Eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations

I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.  — Bill Gates, business magnate and philanthropist

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.  — Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.  — Edmund Burke, author and philosopher

Americans are blessed with great plenty; we are a generous people and we have a moral obligation to assist those who are suffering from poverty, disease, war and famine.  — Adam Schiff, U.S. representative

Failures are divided into two classes — those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.  — John Charles Salak, author

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.  — Martin Luther King, Jr., Baptist minister and civil rights activist

Nothing that you have not given away will ever truly be yours.” — C.S. Lewis, author and Christian apologist

When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.  — Mother Teresa

They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend. Say, 'Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.' - Qur'an, Surat Al-Baqarah

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.  — Franklin D. Roosevelt

As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest.  — Nelson Mandela

There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.  — Mahatma Gandhi

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.  — John F. Kennedy

Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.  — Muhammad Ali

Child labor and poverty are inevitably bound together and if you continue to use the labor of children as the treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labor to the end of time.  — Grace Abbott, social worker

Where you live should not determine whether you live, or whether you die.  — Bono, singer-songwriter and philanthropist

Poverty does not belong in civilized human society. Its proper place is in a museum.  — Muhammad Yunus

It is a common condition of being are always afraid that the good things in your life are temporary, that someone can take them away, because you have no power beyond your own brute strength to stop them.  — Rick Bragg, journalist

Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.  — Nelson Mandela

Poverty is a very complicated issue, but feeding a child isn't.  — Jeff Bridges, actor

You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money.  — P.J. O'Rourke, political satirist

It would be nice if the poor were to get even half of the money that is spent in studying them.  — William E. Vaughn, columnist

It is the great privilege of poverty to be happy and yet unenvied, to be healthy with physique, secure without a guard, and to obtain from the bounty of nature what the great and wealthy are compelled to procure by the help of art.”  — President Johnson

Do not ask the name of the person who seeks a bed for the night. He who is reluctant to give his name is the one who most needs shelter.  — Hugo

The Poor Man whom everyone speaks of, the Poor Man whom everyone pities, one of the repulsive Poor from whom ''charitable'' souls keep their distance, he has still said nothing. Or, rather, he has spoken through the voice of Victor Hugo, Zola, Richepin. At least, they said so. And these shameful impostures fed their authors. Cruel irony, the Poor Man tormented with hunger feeds those who plead his case.  — Albert Camus

Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.   — Johnson

Food, clothing, firing, rent, taxes, respectability and children. Nothing can lift those seven millstones from Man's neck but money; and the spirit cannot soar until the millstones are lifted.   — Shaw 

The greatest evils and the worst of crimes is poverty; our first duty, a duty to which every other consideration should be sacrificed, is not to be poor.   — Shaw

The greatest man in history was the poorest.  — Emerson

Whoever shuts his ears at the cry of the poor, they also shall cry themselves, but not be heard.   — Bible

And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of the estate and speak to them words of appropriate kindness. - Qur'an, Surat An-Nisa

For every talent that poverty has stimulated it has blighted a hundred.  — Gardner

Poverty is not a shame, but the being ashamed of it is.  — Proverbs

Only in relationships can you know yourself, not in abstraction and certainly not in isolation. The movement of behavior is the sure guide to yourself. It's the mirror of your consciousness: this mirror will reveal its content, the images, the attachments, the fears, the loneliness, the joys and sorrow. Poverty lies in running away from this, either in its sublimations or its identities.  — Krishnamurti

There is a noble manner of being poor, and who does not know it will never be rich.  — Seneca

I am a poor man, but I have this consolation: I am poor by accident, not by design.  — Billings

Poverty has no greater foe than bashfulness.  — Proverbs

What power can poverty have over a home where loving hearts are beating with a consciousness of untold riches of the head and heart?  — Orison Swett Marden

Whoever mocks the poor insults his maker; and he that is glad at calamities shall not go unpunished.  — Bible

Every day, I'm standing outside trying to sing my way in: We are hungry, please let us in We are hungry, please let us in. After about a week that song is gonna change to: We hungry, we need some food. After two, three weeks, it's like: Give me the food Or I'm breaking down the door. After a year you're just like: I'm picking the lock. Coming through the door blasting.  — Tupac Shakur

What makes me saying ‘I don’t give a f***,’ different from Patrick Henry saying ‘Give me liberty or give me death?’ What makes my freedom any different than Bosnians or whoever [America] wants to fight for this year? They should give money to the ghetto.  — Tupac Shakur

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous. - Qur'an, Surat Al-Baqarah

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.   — John Wesley

We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.  — Forster

Poverty is uncomfortable; but 9 times out of 10 the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed overboard and be compelled to sink or swim.  — Garfield

Poverty of goods is easily cured; poverty of the mind is irreparable.  — Montaigne

If the rich could hire other people to die for them, the poor could make a wonderful living.  — Proverbs

Civil rights leaders are involved in helping poor people. That's what I've been doing all my life.  — Young

The burden of poverty isn't just that you don't always have the things you need, it's the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you'd do anything to lift that burden.  — Jay-Z

If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones.  — John Steinbeck

There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher. — Victor Hugo

If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.  — Charles Darwin

It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.  — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor, — all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked, — who is good? Not that men are ignorant, — what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.  — W. E. B. DuBois

If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah , with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted. - Qur'an, Surat Al-Baqarah

Once poverty is gone, we'll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations. They'll wonder why poverty continued so long in human society - how a few people could live in luxury while billions dwelt in misery, deprivation and despair.  — Muhammad Yunus

History is written by the rich, and so the poor get blamed for everything.  — Jeffrey Sachs

You're broke, eh?" I been shaking two nickels together for a month, trying to get them to mate.  — Raymond Chandler

True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity. False charity constrains the fearful and subdued, the "rejects of life," to extend their trembling hands. True generosity lies in striving so that these hands--whether of individuals or entire peoples--need be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work and, working, transform the world.  — Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

American humorist Kin Hubbard said, "It ain't no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be". The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: "If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?" 
Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue... Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say, Napoleonic times.

Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.  — Kurt Vonnegut

When someone steals another's clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money which you hoard up belongs to the poor. — Basil the Great

The United States spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq while the United Nations estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitations services and basic education to every person on the planet. And we wonder why terrorists attack us. - John Perkins

It takes nothing to stay in poverty, but everything to break free from it.  — Idowu Koyenikan

Childhood, after all, is the first precious coin that poverty steals from a child.  — Anthony Horowitz

People are wrong when they think that an unemployed man only worries about losing his wages; on the contrary, an illiterate man, with the work habit in his bones, needs work even more than he needs money. An educated man can put up with enforced idleness, which is one of the worst evils of poverty. But a man like Paddy, with no means of filling up time, is as miserable out of work as a dog on the chain. That is why it is such nonsense to pretend that those who have 'come down in the world' are to be pitied above all others.

The man who really merits pity is the man who has been down from the start, and faces poverty with a blank, resourceless mind.  — George Orwell

If you go out into the real world, you cannot miss seeing that the poor are poor not because they are untrained or illiterate but because they cannot retain the returns of their labor. They have no control over capital, and it is the ability to control capital that gives people the power to rise out of poverty.  — Muhammad Yunus

Fear of the mob is a superstitious fear. It is based on the idea that there is some mysterious, fundamental difference between rich and poor, as though they were two different races, like Negroes and white men. But in reality there is no such difference. The mass of the rich and the poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothing else, and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit. Change places, and handy dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Everyone who has mixed on equal terms with the poor knows this quite well. But the trouble is that intelligent, cultivated people, the very people who might be expected to have liberal opinions, never do mix with the poor. For what do the majority of educated people know about poverty?  — George Orwell

Last time I talked to her she didn't sound like herself. She's depressed. It's awful what happens when people run out of money. They start thinking they're no good. — Barbara Kingsolver

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

What we do is less than a drop in the ocean. But if it were missing, the ocean would lack something.

Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.

Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.

There must be a reason why some people can afford to live well. They must have worked for it. I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things that we could use.

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.

One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.

"[Charity is] for the poor who have been restricted for the cause of Allah , unable to move about in the land. An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint, but you will know them by their [characteristic] sign. They do not ask people persistently [or at all]. And whatever you spend of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it." - Qur'an, Surat Al-Baqarah

"Charity begins at home": You should take care of your family and other people who live close to you before helping people who are living further away or in another country.

Five- and six-year old children are inheritors of poverty's curse and not its creators. Unless we act, these children will pass it on to the next generation.— President Lyndon Johnson

A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed. — Henrik Ibsen


The issue of poverty is not a statistical issue. It is a human issue. -James Wolfensohn

Five- and six-year old children are inheritors of poverty's curse and not its creators. Unless we act, these children will pass it on to the next generation. -President Lyndon Johnson

A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed. -Henrik Ibsen

Poverty is the obvious thing that limits the exploitation of human potential. -Malcolm Gladwell

The kinder and more intelligent a person is, the more kindness he can find in other people. Kindness enriches our life; with kindness mysterious things become clear, difficult things become easy and dull things become cheerful. -Leo Tolstoy

Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor. -James Baldwin

The rising generation has the power to ensure the elimination of poverty from this planet. We overcame slavery, we overcame apartheid, we put human beings on the moon -- all achievements that were once considered impossible. We can overcome poverty, if we only decide that poverty does not belong to the future that we want to create. -Muhammad Yunus

Ignorance of each other is what has made unity impossible in the past. Therefore, we need enlightenment. We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity. Once we have more knowledge (light) about each other, we will stop condemning each other and a united front will be brought about. -Malcolm X

Of course, when people are hurting because of unemployment, government help to relieve them is necessary and important. But immediately after that, the much higher responsibility of society -- and of the state that represents it -- is to help people escape dependence on the state as soon as possible. Dependence diminishes human beings.  -Muhammad Yunus

Even in the wealthiest countries on Earth, large numbers of people are stuck in poverty or near-poverty because they are forced to rely on job opportunities as the only possible source of income. Much of the economic distress can be traced to the fact that people are trapped in a system that relies on big employers to keep local economies flourishing. Thus, when big companies move overseas, automate their plants, or shut down altogether, entire communities can be destroyed. ... Unemployment can become a permanent condition, condemning generations to lives of struggle and suffering. ... Grameen America's client base consists of women who would never have been considered creditworthy by a conventional bank -- women with no collateral, no assets, no savings, no references. All they had was an idea and a strong desire to work hard to make it succeed. -Muhammad Yunus

Within the developed world, politicians, policy makers, and business leaders tend to make choices that put polluting, dangerous, toxic, and destructive industries and facilities in communities where poor people live. ... When the people of a country are desperate for work and income, political leaders are tempted to ignore environmental problems and to eliminate or fail to enforce rules that would prevent polluting. ... These environmental crimes committed against the poor are both a result of global inequality and a contributor to it, since rampant pollution makes it even harder for poor countries to lift themselves out of poverty. -Muhammad Yunus 

Overcoming poverty is an essential aspect of ensuring peace among the people. -Muhammad Yunus

There are many boys, and men too, who, like Micky Maguire, have never had a fair chance in life. Let us remember that, when we judge them, and not be too hasty to condemn. -Horatio Alger Jr.

If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones. -John Steinbeck

We all have support networks. We all have family and friends and a job and things that support us when we trip. These (homeless people) are people who have burned through those support networks. And that's the only difference. ... I think we were surprised by how upfront people (the homeless) were. And how honest (they) were. And how (they) seem to appreciate you just talking to them like a regular person. ... So many people walk by homeless people all the time. I've done it. You pretend you don't see them. There's a homeless guy who camps right outside my house actually. And it was interesting, because I noticed before he really annoyed me (him panhandling, etc), and after this story, I asked him his name, I say hello to him, I talk to him. Before the story I just ignored him. I just pretended he wasn't there. And after the story I was like, this is ridiculous. This is my issue. Me pretending not to see this person is insane. And offensive. And it humanizes people - anytime you stop and talk to somebody, and you learn about them, you will start to walk in their shoes a little bit, and you see things through a different lens. -ANDERSON COOPER

From a religious perspective, loving one another is the highest commandment. From a spiritual perspective, loving one another is the wisdom of the ages. From a political perspective, loving one another is just the smartest thing to do. Plus, today it’s the only survivable option. -Marianne Williamson

Unfortunately, we live in a society where there's too little real autonomy. It's very hard to teach what it means to serve until you've been free. The irony is that once you get free, you want to be who you are. You can't justify your life by having only what you want. You justify your life by using your gifts to make someone else's life easier. Generally, people believe their worthiness stands on how great they've become, how rich or famous. But real worthiness evolves from having sacrificed your time, money, and talents to build up someone who's weaker than you are, who needs your help, who needs your money.  -TOM CHAPPELL

If poverty is a disease that infects an entire community in the form of unemployment and violence, failing schools and broken homes, then we can't just treat those symptoms in isolation. We have to heal that entire community. And we have to focus on what actually works - Barack Obama

The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -Jane Addams

The possession of gold has ruined fewer men than the lack of it. What noble enterprises have been checked and what fine souls have been blighted in the gloom of poverty the world will never know. -Thomas Aldrich

Poverty is very good in poems, but it is very bad in a house. It is very good in maxims and in sermons, but it is very bad in practical life. -Henry Beecher

The rich man may never get into heaven, but the pauper is already serving his term in hell. -Alexander Chase

Those who produce should have, but we know that those who produce the most -- that is, those who work hardest, and at the most difficult and most menial tasks, have the least. -Eugene Debs

Poverty comes pleading, not for charity, for the most part, but imploring us to find a purchaser for its unmarketable wares. -Oliver Holmes

There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher. -Victor Hugo

This growing poverty in the midst of growing population constitutes a permanent menace to peace. And not only to peace, but also to democratic institutions and personal liberty. For overpopulation is not compatible with freedom. -Aldous Huxley

It is not poverty so much as pretense that harasses a ruined man -- the struggle between a proud mind and an empty purse -- the keeping up of a hollow show that must soon come to an end. -Washington Irving

It is easy enough to say that poverty is no crime. No; if it were men wouldn't be ashamed of it. It's a blunder, though, and is punished as such. -Jerome K. Jerome

Poverty has many roots, but the tap root is ignorance. -Lyndon B. Johnson

We should be for our community. The great Jewish Sage Rabbi Hilal said, "If I am not for myself then who will be for me? But if I am only for myself then what am I?" . . As Muslims, we are for all of humanity. "You are the best community that's come out for humanity". -Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

All the arguments which are brought to represent poverty as no evil, show it to be evidently a great evil. You never find people laboring to convince you that you may live very happily upon a plentiful fortune. -Samuel Johnson

Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable and others extremely difficult. -Samuel Johnson

Political sovereignty is but a mockery without the means of meeting poverty and illiteracy and disease. Self-determination is but a slogan if the future holds no hope. -John F. Kennedy

We have two American flags always; one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it it means danger, revolution, anarchy. -Henry Miller

In a change of government, the poor change nothing beyond the change of their master. -Phaedrus

The more humanity owes him [the poor man], the more society denies him. Every door is shut against him, even when he has a right to its being opened: and if he ever obtains justice, it is with much greater difficulty than others obtain favours. -Rousseau

Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. -Arthur Ashe

Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself. -Jane Addams

Research has firmly established that housing is healthcare! [...] The ability to access safe, stable, affordable, and supported housing is the greatest predictor of a person’s ability to achieve and maintain recovery. Sadly, demand for supportive and transitional housing in our community far outpaces availability. -Anna Mendez, Executive Director for Partner for Mental Health

The last 10% of humanity suffering in extreme poverty will be the most challenging to address. According to an analysis by the Brookings Institutions, we could push every poor person across the poverty line by transferring $66 billion per year into their pockets. That's less than a tenth of one percent of the global economy, so in one sense it should be eminently achievable. Still, who would write such a check, year after year, and how would we deliver it? And what about the health systems, schools, water and sanitation infrastructure, and so much more that would be essential to ending poverty? There's no quick fix for extreme poverty. -RAJ KUMAR

Aid breeds corruption and dependence and should be stopped in favor of a more market-driven approach. . Business, not aid, will save Africa. . . It's clear that aid doesn't generate economic growth or reduce poverty. And perhaps it undermines representative government and thus prolongs the agony -- delaying the date when poorly governed people rise up. So best to stop the aid. -RAJ KUMAR

What's actually required to achieve the goal of zero absolute poverty?
(1) we need to quickly and forcefully move to the era of open source aid, in which the data about who is doing what and what's working and failing is public and in real time. Real time data will become critical for all sorts of development work. Real-time data will ultimately unlock a systemic change that lets us evaluate development effectiveness at the micro-level. That in turn will allow market forces to encourage the most cost-effective results. Real-time data will allow a secondary market to develop. This will ultimately attract more money to global development. . . No marketplace can function without data, and a lack of sufficient real-time data is a huge stumbling block for the aid industry today.
(2) To end extreme poverty, we'll need to begin holding billionaires accountable. Those who aren't giving today need to be called out, and those who are giving need to be held to a higher standard, which includes far greater transparency around what they're doing and what results they're achieving. If billionaires aren't pushed to join a market where results (beyond "good intentions") matter, we could drag out the old era of charitable giving. Thus, we should reserve real praise until we see what results are really being achieved. . . If billionaire donors operate in secret, they'll need to earn that credibility by being more transparent about what their philanthropy hopes to achieve and how it's operating, even if it's organized as an LLC and not a nonprofit foundation. . . -RAJ KUMAR

The open source model will be critical to driving us closer to the goal of ending extreme poverty, but it's unlikely to get us all the way there. . . Advocates will need to push governments to do the right thing. This includes ramping up humanitarian response capabilities, especially for conflict zones. Much of this will require collaboration with the military and use of assets as was the case during the 2014 Ebola response. . . More collaboration with faith communities will be critical too. -RAJ KUMAR

Poverty is really driven by inequalities that persist because they benefit some at the expense of others. [...] Aid breeds corruption and dependence and should be stopped in favor of a more market-driven approach. . Business, not aid, will save Africa. . . It's clear that aid doesn't generate economic growth or reduce poverty. And perhaps it undermines representative government and thus prolongs the agony -- delaying the date when poorly governed people rise up. So best to stop the aid. [...] Must focus on reforming int'l institutions like the World Bank and IMF which themselves perpetuate an unequal system because they are unfairly controlled by the richest countries and force Wall street finance priorities (like budget cuts and pro-business policies) over a pro-poor agenda. [...] Countries in conflict face an almost insurmountable task in trying to defeat poverty. [...] The focus must be on making those countries stable and well governed. . . That means pushing for an int'l rules-based system that creates transparency around corruption and natural resource exploitation, promoting an open press, and stopping corrupt leaders from amassing their wealth in offshore accounts. -RAJ KUMAR

The poor are poor not because they are untrained or illiterate but because they cannot retain the returns of their labor. They have no control over capital, and it is the ability to control capital that gives people the power to rise out of poverty. . . The poor work for the benefit of someone who controls the productive assets. Why can they not control any capital? Because they do not inherit any capital or credit and nobody gives them access to it because they are not considered creditworthy. [...] When I talked about micro-credit in the 1980s, whether to World Bank economists or journalists, most people assumed that I was trying to alleviate poverty by lending to small businesses that would then expand and HIRE the poor. . . It took people a while to see that I actually advocated lending to the poor directly. [...] Policy makers tend to equate job creation with poverty reduction and economists tend to recognize only one kind of employment -- salaried employment. And economists tend to focus their research not on the micro-level reality of poor people in Third World countries. [...] Worst of all, economists have failed to understand the social power of credit. In economic theory, credit is seen merely as a means with which to lubricate the wheels of trade, commerce, and industry. . . In reality, credit creates economic power, which quickly translates into social power. When credit institutions and banks make rules that favor a distinct section of the population, that section increases both its economic and its social status. . . In both rich and poor countries alike, credit institutions have favored the rich and in so doing have pronounced a death sentence on the poor. [...] If economists would only recognize the powerful socioeconomic implications of credit, they might recognize the need to provide credit as a human right. -MUHAMMAD YUNUS

I was taken to meet with welfare recipients. I asked one group, "suppose that your bank were to lend you money to start a business. How much money would you ask for? The room was silent. No one seemed to understand the question. . . . I went around the room asking each person individually. I wanted to gauge the interest of the American poor in self-help and self-employment. . . Critics had predicted that micro-credit would have trouble in the US because, whereas Bangladesh has long been a tradition of self-employment, less than 10% of Americans work for themselves. They argued that Americans typically required lengthy and intensive training before they were ready to go to their own business. . . This sounded contrary to the "can-do" spirit I had always witnessed in the US, among rich and poor, black and white, Asian and Latino alike. . . 

I was eager to see how Americans trapped in poverty would react to our offer of credit. . . 
The fear and incomprehension on the faces of those poor people in the community center of a small town in Arkansas was the same as I had seen countless times in Bangladesh. . So I spoke as calmly and naturally as I could. 
"Look, I run a bank in Bangladesh that lends money to the poor people," I said. "And last week, I had a meeting with your governor. He asked me to bring my bank to your community. I am considering starting a new bank right here in your town. I have come today to find out if any of you would be interested in borrowing money from me". 
I went on: My bank is a special bank for the poor. . . All I need is someone unemployed or on welfare who has an idea of what he or she would do with the money. . . But if there is no business for such a program, why would I open my bank here? I could go somewhere else and give loans to poor people in some other community. That is why I am asking if any of you have any ideas of what you might do with a loan."

One Woman, who had been listening carefully, raised her hand. "Hey, I'd like to borrow from your bank!"
"O.K." I smiled. "Now we are in business. How much would you like?"
"I would like $375."
Everyone laughed.
"What do you want this for?" I asked. 
"I am a beautician and my business is limited b/c I don't have the right supplies. If I could get a nail-sculpting box that costs $375, I am sure I could pay you back with the extra income I'd earn". . . 
"Would you like to borrow more than that?", I asked. 
"No, I wouldn't want to take a penny more than what the box actually costs."
Another woman raised her hand and said, i"ve been unemployed since the garment factory closed and moved to Taiwan. I need a few hundred dollars so I can buy myself a used sewing machine. I want to make clothes and sell them to my neighbors."
Another woman raised her hand. "I want $600 to buy a push-cart so I can sell my hot tamales in the street. My tamales are famous in my neighborhood. If I had a pushcart I could sell them better". . . 
Every suggestion gave me reason to hope. . These business plans and aspirations of really poor Americans had a great deal in common with the poor of Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Togo

I'd been criticizing the bankers a lot. I was very nasty toward the bankers in Bangladesh. Criticizing them that they are wrong. "Their design is wrong. They created an institution which doesn't make any sense because banks are supposed to lend money. They do it in such a funny way. They lend money to people who already have lots of money. They don't lend money to people who don't have money". I said, this should be the other way. That's the logic. So they laugh, like he laughed. Everybody laughed. And then I hit on another point. I said you also don't lend money to women. Because in Bangladesh at the time that I was raising the question, 99% of the borrowers of all the banks of Bangladesh are men. 1% or less were the women. So I said, you are not only against poor people, you are also against women. Because your results show that. So they said, no no, women don't come to us. I said, no, your rules are so bad b/c when a woman comes to the proposition if she's a rich person, if she's an able person, always the manager will look at the business proposition and then say, "have you discussed with your husband?" And then he will say, why don't you bring your husband along next Monday so that we can discuss? I said, has it ever happened in the history of banking in Bangladesh a man brought his proposal to a manager, and manager said, "have you discussed with your wife?" I said that's where the discrimination begins, and that's why people don't feel encouraged, women don't feel encouraged. When I began, I wanted to make sure I corrected it because I've been so vocal against it, so I shouldn't commit the same mistake. So I wanted to make sure half the borrowers in my program were women. And it was a tough job. Women said, no no, don't give it to me, give it to my husband. So I didn't know what to do. I was explaining to my students, they were very frustrating working with the women, these are girl students working with me to go to the women. They said, maybe we should forget about them - they said they don't know anything. I said no, that's not the way. When you are hearing them say they cannot do anything, they are afraid of money, they don't want to create trouble for the family. Always remember this is the history which is making them say that because history made them so fearful of everything that happens new. So they want to cling to the old place, they don't want to expose themselves to new dangers of exposing themselves. I said we have to pull of that fear, layer by layer. So it takes time. So we go back again and again to build confidence in them. It took us six years doing that. Then we came to 50 50. Then we saw something new coming up. Money going to the family through women brought so much more benefit to the family than the same amount of money going to the family through men. And you can write a whole book on that. The kind of differences that you see. It's so visible. So obvious. Then we said why are we just having 50% only for women. Why don't we open it up. Then we opened it up and focused on women. It slowed down our work so much, because men are jumping to take our money. Here, women are so relaxed and make sure they understand everything. So we accepted that. But gradually, it jumped up to 60% 70%, and when beyond 90% we said let's slow down so we can keep some men in the picture. So we stopped at 97%. That's how we remained 97% forever. So we do not eliminate men. But when we came to the USA, we didn't bother about men. We went straight to women and it did fantastically well. -MUHAMMAD YUNUS

People will come into the marketplace to express their selfless urges by running businesses to improve the lot of humanity -- a clear improvement on the work of charities. Charitable efforts are noble, and they are needed. But business has a greater ability than charity to innovate, to expand, and to reach more and more people through the power of the free market.There's no limit to what we can achieve if talented entrepreneurs and business leaders around the world devote themselves to goals such as ending malnutrition and unemployment, creating shelter for the homeless, and providing renewable energy and decent health care to all. -MUHAMMAD YUNUS

Social business is a powerful avenue for self-discovery, self-exploration, and self-definition. Best of all, seeing the social benefits created by the business -- the hungry children fed, the homeless families given shelter, the diseased people cured -- offers a profound inner satisfaction that no other creative endeavor can match. Believe me, nothing in life is more rewarding than fulfilling the creative passion through the act of imagining a social business and then translating it into reality.Let every young person grow up knowing that he or she can enter the working world as a creative entrepreneur. -MUHAMMAD YUNUS

"The poor," I said, "are very creative. They know how to earn a living and how to change their lives. All they need is opportunity. Credit brings that opportunity. . . Perhaps our two societies are different and thousands of miles apart, but I don't see any difference between the poor of Bangladesh and the poor Chicago. The problems and consequences of poverty are the same." [...] Human beings are extremely creative and resilient, especially when they are operating within an institutional framework that encourages and supports their actions. [...] People are able to reach their full potential much more easily after accessing credit. 

Whenever I'm asked if Grameen can work in other countries, I respond emphatically that it can work wherever there is poverty, including in wealthy countries. The initial interest of many Americans led me to believe they might try to replicate our program for the benefit of the poor, the homeless, and the unemployed in the US. . . What struck me was their pessimism about whether ANYTHING would actually raise people out of poverty rather than merely alleviating its symptoms. . . . Many Americans argue that their welfare state has created a lazy underclass of dysfunctional individuals who would never be interested in or capable of starting their own businesses or supporting themselves. . . 
Welfare laws in the US create disincentives for welfare recipients to work. Those who receive welfare become virtual prisoners not only of poverty but of those who would help them; if they earn a dollar, it must be immediately reported to the welfare authority and deducted from their next welfare check. Welfare recipients are also not allowed to borrow money from any institutional source. In fact, under the then-existing laws of Illinois, micro-credit programs such as the FCF could not approach welfare recipients at all.
In the developed world, my greatest nemesis is the tenacity of the social welfare system. Over and over, our clones have run into the same problem: Recipients of a monthly handout from the gov't feel as afraid to stat a business as the purdah-covered women in Bengali villages. Many calculate the amount of welfare money and insurance coverage they would lose by becoming self-employed and conclude the risk is not worth the effort. [...] Some borrowers do try to take loans in secret, hoping the gov't will not find them out. But gov't inspectors are often quick to track down any entrepreneurial welfare recipients and immediately remove their state benefits. . . They are counseled to get paid under the table and to keep their loans off the books.

How did we define "poverty-free"? 
Ten indicators:
  1. having a house.
  2. having beds for all members of the family
  3. having access to safe drinking water
  4. having access to sanitary latrine
  5. having all school-age children attending school
  6. having sufficient warm clothing for the winter
  7. having mosquito nets
  8. having a home vegetable garden
  9. having no food shortages
  10. having sufficient income-earning opportunities for all adult members.

What creates poverty? What created this situation that human beings have to be brought into this kind of situation where they have to beg for existence. Is this the fault of the person? Repeatedly, I come to the same conclusion. There is nothing wrong with the people. Poverty is not created by the poor people. Poverty is created by the system that we have built. The concepts that we have created. That's what has created poverty. 

Poverty is the absence of all human rights. The frustrations, hostilities, and anger generated by abject poverty cannot sustain peace in any society. For building stable peace, we must find ways to provide opportunities for people to live decent lives.

Things are never as complicated as they seem. It's only our arrogance that prompts us to find unnecessarily complicated answers to simple problems.

We prepare out students for jobs and career, but we don't teach them to think as individuals, about what kind of world they would create. -Muhammad Yunus
Quranic Wisdom - Only Givers Remain
In the chapter Al-Ra‘d (The Thunder), the Quran narrates a parable illustrating the law of nature, that only those who prove to be giver members of society will be able to establish themselves in life. The following is the translation of the verse:

He sends down water from the sky that fills riverbeds to overflowing, each according to its measure. The torrent carries along swelling foam, akin to what rises from smelted ore from which man makes ornaments and tools. God thus depicts truth and falsehood.  The scum is cast away, but whatever is of use to man remains behind. God thus speaks in parables. (13:17)

In our world, material events symbolize moral realities. Whatever is required of man, according to the law of nature, is being demonstrated in the rest of the world at the material level, as in the two events of nature which have been described in the Quran. One symbol used is that of rainfall, with its water flowing and reaching rivers and streams. At that time a great deal of foam surfaces on it. Another symbol is that of silver and other minerals being heated in order to clean them, their impurities appearing in the shape of foam which, being useless for man, immediately thereafter evaporates into space. 

The main point which emerges is that the water and minerals which are useful to man remain intact.
The individual who has lost his capacity to benefit others has no place in this world. These are the natural events through which Nature shows  symbolically what principles it has laid down for the success or failure of life. One principle is that, in this world, only those who prove useful to others will find a place in society. The individual who has lost his capacity to benefit others has no place in this world. The same is true of communities and groups.

The survival of the fittest, as a principle of organic evolution, is controversial but, as a principle of social life, it is quite tenable. Competition  and challenge being integral features of every human society there are inevitably the ongoing processes of acceptance and rejection. It does not matter what you think about yourself. In social terms, you have to prove your ability to be a giver, otherwise you will be rejected by  society. Society accepts only those persons or groups who prove to be a healthy part of it. This is an unchangeable law of nature, as described in the above verses of the Quran.

2:110 ----- 110. And perform the prayer, and give alms. Whatever good you forward for yourselves, you will find it with God. God is Seeing of everything you do.

2:177 ---- 177. Righteousness does not consist of turning your faces towards the East and the West. But righteous is he who believes in God, and the Last Day, and the angels, and the Scripture, and the prophets. Who gives money, though dear, to near relatives, and orphans, and the needy, and the homeless, and the beggars, and for the freeing of slaves; those who perform the prayers, and pay the obligatory charity, and fulfill their promise when they promise, and patiently persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and in the time of conflict. These are the sincere; these are the pious.

2:261 - 63
261. The parable of those who spend their wealth in God’s way is that of a grain that produces seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. God multiplies for whom He wills. God is Bounteous and Knowing.
262. Those who spend their wealth in the way of God, and then do not follow up what they spent with reminders of their generosity or with insults, will have their reward with their Lord—they have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve.
263. Kind words and forgiveness are better than charity followed by insults. God is Rich and Clement.

2:267 - 74
267. O you who believe! Give of the good things you have earned, and from what We have produced for you from the earth. And do not pick the inferior things to give away, when you yourselves would not accept it except with eyes closed. And know that God is Sufficient and Praiseworthy.
268. Satan promises you poverty, and urges you to immorality; but God promises you forgiveness from Himself, and grace. God is Embracing and Knowing.
269. He gives wisdom to whomever He wills. Whoever is given wisdom has been given much good. But none pays heed except those with insight.
270. Whatever charity you give, or a pledge you fulfill, God knows it. The wrongdoers have no helpers.
271. If you give charity openly, that is good. But if you keep it secret, and give it to the needy in private, that is better for you. It will atone for some of your misdeeds. God is cognizant of what you do.
272. Their guidance is not your responsibility, but God guides whom He wills. Any charity you give is for your own good. Any charity you give shall be for the sake of God. Any charity you give will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged.
273. It is for the poor; those who are restrained in the way of God, and unable to travel in the land. The unaware would think them rich, due to their dignity. You will recognize them by their features. They do not ask from people insistently. Whatever charity you give, God is aware of it.
274. Those who spend their wealth by night and day, privately and publicly, will receive their reward from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve.

2:277 ---- 277. Those who believe, and do good deeds, and pray regularly, and give charity—they will have their reward with their Lord; they will have no fear, nor shall they grieve.

3:92 --- 92. You will not attain virtuous conduct until you give of what you cherish. Whatever you give away, God is aware of it.

3:180 --- 180. Those who withhold what God has given them of his bounty should not assume that is good for them. In fact, it is bad for them. They will be encircled by their hoardings on the Day of Resurrection. To God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth, and God is well acquainted with what you do.

6:141 --- 141. It is He who produces gardens, both cultivated and wild, and date-palms, and crops of diverse tastes, and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of its fruit when it yields, and give its due on the day of its harvest, and do not waste. He does not love the wasteful.

9:34 --- 34. O you who believe! Many of the rabbis and priests consume people's wealth illicitly, and hinder from God’s path. Those who hoard gold and silver, and do not spend them in God’s cause, inform them of a painful punishment.

9:60 --- 60. Charities are for the poor, and the destitute, and those who administer them, and for reconciling hearts, and for freeing slaves, and for those in debt, and in the path of God, and for the traveler in need—an obligation from God. God is All-Knowing, Most Wise.

22:41 --- 41. Those who, when We empower them in the land, observe the prayer, and give regular charity, and command what is right, and forbid what is wrong. To God belongs the outcome of events.

1. Successful are the believers.
2. Those who are humble in their prayers.
3. Those who avoid nonsense.
4. Those who work for charity.
5. Those who safeguard their chastity.
6. Except from their spouses, or their dependents—for they are free from blame.
7. But whoever seeks anything beyond that—these are the transgressors.
8. Those who are faithful to their trusts and pledges.
9. Those who safeguard their prayers.
10. These are the inheritors.

47:38 --- 38. Here you are, being called to spend in the cause of God. Among you are those who withhold; but whoever withholds is withholding against his own soul. God is the Rich, while you are the needy. And if you turn away, He will replace you with another people, and they will not be like you.

15. But the pious are amidst gardens and springs.
16. Receiving what their Lord has given them. They were virtuous before that.
17. They used to sleep a little at night.
18. And at dawn, they would pray for pardon.
19. And in their wealth, there was a share for the beggar and the deprived.

10. And give from what We have provided for you, before death approaches one of you, and he says, “My Lord, if only You would delay me for a short while, so that I may be charitable, and be one of the righteous.”
11. But God will not delay a soul when its time has come. God is Informed of what you do.

"The wealthy amongst us are duty bound to take care of the financial needs of the poor. It is likewise obligatory to make a sustained and dedicated effort to educate the people for both social welfare and spiritual upliftment. Islam expects every individual to help the members of the community in whichever manner he can. The philosophy of Islam, if adhered to, can ensure the removal of poverty and ignorance which in turn ensures the removal of envies, perversion and illicit and illegal affairs associated with these."
Practical deeds of charity are of value when they proceed from love, and from no other motive. In this respect, also, our duties take various forms, which are shown in reasonable gradation: our kith and kin; orphans (including any persons who are without support help); people who are in real need but who never ask (it is our duty to find them out, and they come before those who ask); the stranger, who is entitled to laws of hospitality; the people who ask and are entitled to ask, i.e., not merely lazy beggars, but those who seek our assistance in some form or another (it is our duty to respond to them); and the slaves (we must do all we can to give or buy their freedom). [Qur'an]

Charity and piety in individual cases do not complete our duties. In prayer and charity, we must also look to our organized efforts: where there is a Muslim state, these are made through the State, in facilities for public prayer, and public assistance, and for the maintenance of contracts and fair dealing in all matters. [Qur'an]

177. A very high standard is set for charity. 
(1) It must be in the way of God. 
(2) It must expect no reward in this world.
(3) It must not be followed by references or reminders to the act of charity.
(4) Still less should any annoyance or injury be caused to the recipient, e.g., by boasting that the giver relieved the person in the hour of need. Indeed, the kindness and the spirit which turns a blind eye to other people's faults or short-comings is the essence of charity: these things are better than charity if charity is spoilt by tricks that do harm. At the same time, while no reward is to be expected, there is abundant reward from God -- material, moral, and spiritual -- according to His own good pleasure and plan. If we spend in the way of God, it is not as if God was in need of our charity. On the contrary our short-comings are so great that we require His utmost forbearance before any good that we can do can merit Hit praise or reward. Our motives are so mixed that our best may really be very poor if judged by a very strict standard. [Qur'an]

309. A very high standard is set for charity. (1) It must be in the way of God. (2) It must expect no reward in this world. (3) It must not be followed by references or reminders to the act of charity. (4) Still less should any annoyance or injury be caused to the recipient; e.g. by boasting that the giver relieved the person in the hour of need. Indeed, the kindness and the spirit which turns a blind eye to other people's faults or short-comings is the essence of charity: these things are better than charity if charity is spoilt by tricks that do harm. At the same time, while no reward is to be expected, there is abundant reward from God - material, moral, and spiritual - according to His own good pleasure and plan. If we spend in the way of God, it is not as if God was in need of our charity. On the contrary our short-comings are so great that we require His utmost forbearance before any good that we can do can merit His praise or reward. Our motives are so mixed that our best may really be very poor if judged by a very strict standard.

310. False charity, "to be seen of men", is really no charity. It is worse, for it betokens a disbelief in God and the Hereafter. "God seeth well whatever ye do" (ii. 265). It is compared to a hard barren rock on which by chance has fallen a little soil. Good rain, which renders fertile soil more fruitful, washes away the little soil which this rock had, and exposes its nakedness. What good can hypocrites derive even from the little wealth they may have amassed?

311. True charity is like a field with good soil on a high situation. It catches good showers of rain, the moisture penetrates the soil, and yet its elevated situation keeps it well-drained, and healthy favorable conditions increase its output enormously. But supposing even that the rain is not abundant, it catches dew and makes the most of any little moisture it can get, and that is sufficient for it. So a man of true charity is spiritually helathy; he is best suited to attract the bounties of God, which he does not hoard selfishly but circulates freely. In lean times he still produces good works, and is content with what he has. He looks to God's pleasure and the strengthening of his own soul.

312. The truly spiritual nature of charity having been explained in three parables (ii. 261, 264, 265) a fourth parable is now added, explaining its bearing on the whole of our life. Suppose we had a beautiful garden well-watered and fertile, with delightful views of streams, and a haven of rest for mind and body; suppose old age were creeping in on us, and our children were either too young to look after themselves or too feeble in health; how should we feel if a sudden whirlwind came with lightning or fire in its train, and burnt it up; thus blasting the whole of our hopes for the present and for the future, and destroying the result of all our labor and savings in the past? Well, this life of ours is a probation. We may work hard, we may save, we may have good luck. We may make ourselves a goodly pleasance, and have ample means of support for ourselves and our children. A great whirlwind charged with lightning and fire comes and burns up the whole show. We are too old to begin again: our children are too young or feeble to help us to repair the mischief. Our chance is lost, because we did not provide against such a contingency. The whirlwind is the "wrath to come"; the provision against it is a life of true charity and righteousness, which is the only source of true and lasting happiness in this world and the next. Without it we are subject to all the vicissitudes of this uncertain life. We may even spoil our so-called "charity" by insisting on the obligation which others owe to us or by doing some harm, because our motives are not pure.

314. According to the English proverb "Charity covers a multitude of sins". Such a sentiment is strongly disapproved in Islam. Charity has value only if 
(1) something good and valuable is given, 
(2) which has been honorably earned or acquired by the giver, or 
(3) which is produced in nature and can be referred to as a bounty of God. 
(1) May include such things as are of use and value to others though they may be of less use to us or superfluous to us on account of our having acquired something more suitable for our station in life; for example, discarded clothes, or an old horse or a used motor car; but if the horse is vicious, or the car engine so far gone that it is dangerous to use, then the gift is worse than useless; it is positively harmful and the giver is a wrong-doer. 
(2) Applies to fraudulent company-promoters, who earn great credit by giving away charity in some of their ill-gotten gains, or to robbers (even if they call themselves by high-sounding names) who "rob peter to pay Paul". Islam will have nothing to do with tainted property. Its economic code requires that every gain should be honest and honorable. Even "charity" would not cover or destroy the taint. 
(3) Lays down a test in cases of a doubtful gain. Can we refer to it as a gift of God? Obviously the produce of honest labour or agriculture can be so referred to. In modern commerce and speculation there is much of quite the contrary character, and charity will not cover the taint. Some kind of art, skill, or talent are God-given: it is the highest kind of charity to teach them or share their product. Others are the contrary: they are bad or tainted. In the same way some professions or services may be tainted, if these tend to do moral harm.

318. Good and evil draw us opposite ways and by opposite motives, and the contrast is well marked out in charity. When we think of doing some real act of kindness or charity, we are assailed with doubts and fear of impoverishment; but Evil supports any tendency to selfishness, greed, or even to extravagant expenditure for show, or self-indulgence, or unseemly appetites. On the other hand, God draws us on to all that is kind and good, for that way lies the forgiveness of our sins, and greater real prosperity and satisfaction. No kind or generous act ever ruined anyone. It is false generosity that is sometimes shown as leading to ruin. As God knows all our motives and cares for all, and has everything in His power, it is obvious which course a wise man will choose. But wisdom is rare, and it is only wisdom that can appreciate true well-being and distinguish it from the false appearance of well-being.

319. It is better to seek no publicity in charity. But if it is known there is no harm. If it is for public purposes, it must necessarily be known, and a pedantic show of concealment may itself be a fault. The harm of publicity lies in motives of ostentation. We can better reach the really deserving poor by quietly seeking for them. The spiritual benefit endures to our own souls, provided our motives are pure, and we are really seeking the good pleasure of God.

320. In connection with charity this means that we must relieve those really in need, whether they are good or bad, on the right path or not, Muslims or otherwise. It is not for us to judge in these matters. God will give light according to His wisdom. Incidentally it adds a further meaning to the command, "Let there be no compulsion in religion". For compulsion may not only be by force, but by economic necessity. In matters of religion we must not even compel by a bribe of charity. The chief motive in charity should be God's pleasure and our own spiritual good. This was addressed in the first instance to Mustafa in Medina, but it is of universal application.

322. Indiscriminate acts of so-called charity are condemned as they may do more harm than good. The real beneficiaries of charity are here indicated. They must be in want. And the want must be due to some honorable cause. For example, they may be doing some unpaid service, such as teaching, or acquiring knowledge or skill, or be in exile for their faith, or in other ways be prevented from seeking employment or doing strenuous work. "God's cause" must not be narrowly interpreted. All sincere and real service to humanity comes within the definition. Such men do not beg from door to door. It is the duty of those who are well-to-do, or of the Public Purse, to find them out.

323. We recapitulate the beauty of charity (i.e. unselfish giving of one's self or one's goods) before we come to its opposite, i.e. the selfish grasping greed of usury against those in need or distress. Charity instead of impoverishing you will enrich you; you will have more happiness and less fear. Contrast it with what follows, - the degradation of the grasping usurer.

327. The contrast between charity and unlawful grasping of wealth began at ii. 274, where this phrase occurs as a theme. Here the theme finishes with the same phrase. The following four verses refer to further concessions on behalf of debtors, as creditors are asked to (a) give up even claims arising out of the past on account of usury, and (b) give time for payment of capital if necessary, or (c) to write off the debt altogether as an act of charity.

419. The test of charity is: do you give something that you value greatly, something that you love? If you give your life in a Cause, that is the greatest gift you can give. If you give yourself, that is, your personal efforts, your talents, your skill, your learning, that comes next in degree. If you give your earnings, your property, your possessions, that is also a great gift; for many people love them even more than other things. And there are less tangible things, such as position, reputation, the well-being of those we love, the regard of those who can help us, etc. It is unselfishness that Allah demands, and there is no act of unselfishness, however small or intangible, but is well within the knowledge of Allah.

483. The gifts are of all kinds: material gifts, such as wealth, property, strength of limbs, etc., or intangible gifts, such as influence, birth in a given set, intellect, skill, insight, etc., or spiritual gifts of the highest kind. The spending of all these things (apart from what is necessary for ourselves) for those who need them, is charity, and purifies our own character. The withholding of them (apart from our needs) is similarly greed and selfishness, and is strongly condemned.

484. By an apt metaphor the miser is told that his wealth or the other gifts which he hoarded will cling round his neck and do him no good. He will wish he could get rid of them, but he will not be able to do so. According to the Biblical phrase in another connection they will hang like a millstone round his neck. The metaphor here is fuller. He hugged his wealth or his gifts about him. They will become like a heavy collar, the badge of slavery, round his neck. They will be tied tight and twisted, and they will give him pain and anguish instead of pleasure. Cf. also xvii. 13.

485. Another metaphor is now introduced. Material wealth or property is only called ours during our short life here. So all gifts are ours in trust only; they ultimately revert to Allah, to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens or on earth.

966. "Waste not, want not," says the English proverb. Here the same wisdom is preached from a higher motive. See what magnificent means God provides in nature for the sustenance of all His creatures, because He loves them all. Enjoy them in moderation and be grateful. But commit no excess, and commit no waste: the two things are the same from different angles of vision. If you do, you take away something from other creatures and God would not like your selfishness.

1291. Bil-batili = in falsehood, i.e., by false means, pretences, or in false or vain things. This was strikingly exemplified in the history of Mediaeval Europe. Though the disease is apt to attack all peoples and organisations at all times. Priests got rich by issuing indulgences and dispensations; they made their office a stepping stone to worldly power and possessions. Even the Monastic Orders, which took vows of poverty for individuals grew rich with corporate property, until their wealth became a scandal, even among their own nations.

1292. Misuse of wealth, property, and resources is frequently condemned, and in three ways: (1) do not acquire anything wrongfully or on false pretences; (2) do not hoard or bury or amass wealth for its own sake but use it freely for good, whether for yourself or for your neighbours; and (3) be particularly careful not to waste it for idle purposes, but only so that it may fructify for the good of the people.

1320. Alms or charitable gifts are to be given to the poor and the needy and those who are employed in their service. That is, charitable funds are not to be diverted to other uses, but the genuine expenses of administering charity are properly chargeable to such funds. Who are the needy? Besides the ordinary indigent, there are certain classes of people whose need is great and should be relieved. Those mentioned here are: (1) men who have been weaned from hostility to Truth, who would probably be persecuted by their former associates, and require assistance until they establish new connections in their new environment: (2) those in bondage, literally and figuratively: captives of war must be redeemed: slaves should be helped to freedom-, those in the bondage of ignorance or superstition or unfavourable environment should be helped to freedom to develop their own gifts: (3) those who are held in the grip of debt should be helped to economic freedom: (4) those who are struggling and striving in Allah's Cause by teaching or fighting or in duties assigned to them by the Islamic State, who are thus unable to earn their ordinary living: and (5) strangers stranded on the way. All these have a claim to charity. They should be relieved by individual or organised effort, but in a responsible way. In this verse, the word sadaqat refers to obligatory charity (zakat).

4864. Here the case of the special devotee and of the average man with his human foibles are distinguished. Stinginess is not a virtue: it hurts more the finer-nature of the individual practising it that it hurts the Cause. Allah is free of all wants and independent of any need that we can meet. His Cause is similarly independent of human aid. But it uses human agency for our own human advancement. The need to be able to serve Allah's cause is ours. We are the needy beggars who should claim the privilege before the Lord of Bounties unbounded.

5001. True charity remembers not only those in need who ask, but also those who are prevented by some reason from asking. The man of true charity seeks out the latter. There may be various reasons which prevent a man from asking for help: (1) he may be ashamed to ask, or his sense of honour may prevent him from asking; (2) he may be so engrossed in some great ideal that he may not think of asking; (3) he may even not know that he is in need, (4) he may not know that you possess the things that can supply his needs; and (5) he may be a dumb and helpless creature, whether a human being or a dumb animal, or any creature within your ken or power. Charity in the higher sense includes all help, from one better endowed to one less well endowed.

5477. "Substance" or "Sustenance". Whatever good we enjoy comes from Allah, and it is our duty to use some of it in the service of others, for that is Charity and the service of Allah. Every unselfish act is Charity. And we must not postpone our good resolutions to the future. Death may come suddenly on us, and we cannot then be allowed to plead for more time. Every present moment calls urgently for its good deed.

6171. The spending may be for charity, or for good works, such as advancing the cause of knowledge or science, or supporting ideals, etc. "Wealth" must be understood not only for money or material goods, but also for any advantage or opportunity which a man happens to enjoy, and which he can place at the service of others.

6172. The Arabic root word zaka implies both increase and purification, and both meanings may be understood to be implied here. Wealth (understood both literally and metaphorically) is not for selfish enjoyment or idle show. It is held on trust. It may be a trial in itself, from which a man who emerges successfully is a man all the purer in his life; and even if he was a good man before, his proper use of his wealth increases his position and dignity in the moral and spiritual world.

6173. The good man does not give in charity or do his good deeds with the motive that he is returning someone else's favour and compensating and rewarding someone for some service done to him or expecting some reward in retum for his own good deed: the sole motive in his mind is that he desires the Countenance or Good Pleasure of Allah Most High. This "Countenance" or "Face" (Arabic, Wajh) implies good pleasure or approval; but it implies something more. It also means the Cause,-either the "final cause" or the "efficient cause" of Aristotelian philosophy. For the Atqa would refer everything, backwards in origin and forwards in destiny, to Allah. Allah is the source of their goodness, as well as its goal or purpose.

6174. The definition of Righteousness, Charity, or Self-sacrifice, becomes thus highly spiritualised. The Atqa are so completely identified with Allah's Will that everything else is blotted out to them. What would seem to be sacrifice from other points of view, becomes their own highest pleasure and satisfaction. Every virtuous man will have his own bliss, for there are degrees in virtue and bliss. This supreme bliss is the portion-not the prize-of supreme virtue.

Giving with Wisdom Results in Greatest Good
The purpose of giving is to create good in this world. The more you give, the more you receive. But what you give is also what you receive. Therefore the quality of what you give matters more than the quantity of your giving. When you give in ways that creates more evil than good, it is worse than not giving at all. All giving is the expression of love. Love is the motivating force and wisdom is the guiding force. Love without wisdom is the root of all evil. Love must be guided by wisdom to do the greatest good of all.

Merit is something that you gain from doing good. It is a store of positive energy that will attract further good into your life. There are so many ways you can benefit others, but the more wisdom you have, the better you can express your love in a way that benefits a person best. Benefiting others in the best way will gain you the greatest merit. When you gain the greatest merit, it will empower you to do even more of the greatest good. You can choose which level to play at. Choose to do what’s best and not less.

Giving with wisdom means solving problems at the roots. It is dealing with causes instead of effects. You can give someone a fish or you can teach them how to fish. The second kind of giving is greater than the first kind. You benefit people more by empowering them to create wealth, than by giving them money. You benefit people more by teaching them health consciousness, than by giving them medicine. Curing evil at the symptoms does not change anything. True change comes by transforming the mind.

Charity and humanitarian work as lesser works of God. The greatest work of God is the work of conscious evolution. That is because knowing who we really are will bring us prosperity, healing and happiness. What people need is conscious knowledge and it is the thing that brings everything else. Knowing God and the universe is enlightenment and enlightenment is the greatest gift. You can offer no greater gift than the spiritual and mental empowerment of others, because the inner world creates the outer phenomena.

When you relieve people of responsibilities by feeding their desires, they become depraved after awhile. People who are given temporal relief but do not work on changing their mental behavior at all are cursed to lack peace and contentment in life. No matter what possessions or what amount of money they have, people who do not master their mind always want more, and they always have something to complain about. They can never be satisfied and they can never have enough because of mental poverty.

Giving with wisdom also means helping those with real need. There are many people who would seek your time, your energy and your resources. Some of these people are just seeking the easy way out because of their laziness and stupidity. Giving yourself to every person without thinking is not a very loving way to live. When you spend your resources on others in a foolish manner, you are not being loving to yourself. When you are not loving to yourself, your love to others is imperfect. Give discriminately.

There are two ways by which wealth and possessions may be ill used, and that is by not benefiting the deserving or by benefiting the undeserving. To finance evil activity or unwholesome behavior is to benefit the undeserving. There are people who use charitable organizations or handicapped people as a front to draw money from society. But much of the money is placed in their own pockets instead. The more you give to the undeserving, the less you have for the deserving. Give to that which you can trust.

You can only trust when you have knowledge. That is why wise people would rather not interfere for the reason that they do not know enough about a situation. It is better to do nothing when you do not know enough and when you are not inspired enough to do anything either. Enlightened giving is to give when you have clarity. That is why it is important to find out more about a situation when people come to you for help. People should not expect help without expressing their reasons. Act only with knowledge.

It is the size of your heart that matters more than the size of your act. The opportunity to give comes when there is an opening to receive. A person may have no big need for you to help with, but may have some small needs at times. Helping that person with all your love at those times will make a world of difference. Your state of mind can factor into the equation, so do not ever think that tiny acts of merit sincerely performed cannot produce tremendous results, or that they attract no recompense whatsoever.

Rich people can do a lot more harm than good with their giving. If you are rich and lack wisdom, you can end up getting yourself and others into much more trouble than if you had no money at all. So in such cases, an excess of good fortune is actually an excess of misfortune. Some may find it easier to create money than to decide how to spend it. There is wisdom for creating and wisdom for utilizing. That’s why it’s more important to gain wisdom first than to create wealth. Fools are destroyed by prosperity.

The dumb person cannot be considered good, for he just does good things because he does not know any better. The person who is really good is the one who can see both the good and the bad sides of a situation, but who refuses to do anything evil. That is a truly good person. The other person, however, is merely stupid. That is why in the ultimate scheme of things, knowledge or wisdom is the only good, while ignorance or stupidity is the only evil. To do the greatest good, you must give with full wisdom.

Compassion & suffering.mp3

Minute 32

--------------- VIDEO NOTES ---------------
3:28 Generations  
7:11 We can't see inherited thinking  
8:59 The WHEELBARROW way. ( DO NOT tie your earnings to the number of hours your work).
11:15 What our Families taught us about wealth. (work hard, play it safe, be like everyone else ... wealthy people work effectively, they take risks, and they aren't like everyone else).
13:07 Recession vs Abundance (you are able to  decline going into a recession and have abundance instead).

14:12  EIGHT (8) EPIPHANIES about WEALTH (work & wealth; massively important) 
15:02   EPIPHANY #1: Resenting the Wealthy -- from where you are now to wealth is a curve; follow it and you can get there
17:51   EPIPHANY #2:  Three things MONEY is not ...    (1. Money is not the root of all evil 2. not embarrassing 3. not finite) 
22:42   EPIPHANY #3:  Represent Yourself -- read the book "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell (its about the difference between failure and succeeding ... in anything ... attitude on how to deal with authority; dentist example) 

25:26   EPIPHANY #4:  Inspired Ideas --  as you progress, there are things you must do daily to move up the curve ... every single day ... slowly, consistently, gradually ... little by little ... every single day ... HOWEVER ... from time to time we get that one inspired thought ... it is those times that can ADD A ZERO to your income. When you have them, you must act on them.  
28:28   EPIPHANY #5: Leaving the ranks (of the poor) -- if you were stripped of everything, could you get back to your life and succeed? ... also ... if an extremely rich person were put in your shoes, could they get back to their rich life?  

31:58  "You are as successful as the 5 people closest to you"  ... we get involved in an "ecosystem of thinking" ... we MUST associate with highly successful people     
33:28  Is your State's thinking keeping you poor 

34:19   EPIPHANY #6:  Your Positioning determines your pay scale -- (not the quality of your work). If you are the celebrity of your industry, your going to out-earn the non-celebrity of your industry. Yes, you need knowledge ... but you also need personality. 
>> The economy of tomorrow will be ruled by those who bring creativity ... to bring the face, the voice, the celebrity/personality.    
37:35   EPIPHANY #7:   Don't fixate on the Bottom Line -- It's more about generating more income rather than saving. The bean counter vs the buffalo 
40:10   EPIPHANY #8:  Risky -- Risky is the new safe; Safe is the new risky; 

Those who take risks give themselves permission to fail. Then get up and try again ... and again. 
Give other people permission to laugh at you and mock you for trying. Let the be okay. 

You are not separated from your goals by a number of years ... you are separated from your goals by a number of ACTIONS*   


The generational cycle of poverty in neighborhoods like Harlem was well known: poor parents raise children with poor resources and abilities, who therefore can't make it out of poverty and thus raise their own children with the same problems.

For Canada it went without saying that a poor child in Harlem had countless obstacles to success that a middle-class child elsewhere in the city did not have: worse schools, worse living conditions, worse nutrition, fewer books, fewer educational toys, as well as, in all likelihood, parents who were less well-educated, younger, less healthy, and more overwhelmed.

One fact stood out in all the academic research: the gap began when children were very young. By the time they started kindergarten, there was already a large and disturbing difference between the scores that poor and minority students received on various tests of cognitive abilities and the scores that middle-class white students were receiving on those same tests.

Something was going wrong early on, in the homes and families and neighborhoods of poor children, before they ever set foot in a school building.

The Black-White Test Score Gap -- they concluded that while many factors were certainly at play, the most promising avenue for researchers to investigate was home life -- specifically, the parenting practices of poor families. . . . "Changing the way parents deal with their children may be the single most important thing we can do to improve children's cognitive skills."

Researchers began peering deep into American families, investigating up close the interactions between parents and children.

The researcher would record every word that was spoken in the home. The researchers transcribed the recordings and then analyzed each child's rate of language acquisition and each parent's communication style.
They divided the families into three classes --- parents on welfare | working-class parents | professional parents --- and they compared the statistics for each group.

They found that vocabulary growth differed sharply by class. By age three, the children of professional parents had vocabularies of about 1,100 words and the children of parents on welfare had vocabularies of about 525 words. And the children's EQ correlated closely to their vocabularies.
. . . They were able to conclude that the size of each child's vocabulary correlated most closely to one simple factor: the number of words the parents spoke to the child.

The kind of words and statements that children heard varied by class. The most basic difference was in the number of "discouragements" a child heard --- prohibitions and words of disapproval -- compared to the number of encouragements or words of praise and approval.

By age three, the average professional child would hear about 500k encouragements and 80k discouragements.
For the welfare children, the ratio was reversed: they would hear on average about 80k encouragements and 200k discouragements.
Hart and Risley found that as the number of words a child heard increased, the complexity of that language increased as well.
Poorer children didn't hear much else. But the children from more wealthy families were exposed to millions of extra words on top of those basics, and those words tended to be more varied and rich.
As conversation moved beyond simple instructions, it blossomed into discussions of the past and future, of feelings, of abstractions, of the way one thing causes another -- all of which stimulated intellectual development in a way that "put that down" or "finish your peas" never could.
They found that a child's experience of language mattered more than socio-economic status, more than race, more than anything else they measured.
Hearing a relatively large number of prohibitions and discouragements had a negative effect on IQ, and hearing more affirmations, questions, and complex sentences had a positive effect on IQ.
The wealthier parents were giving their children an advantage with every word they spoke, and the advantage just kept building up.

Excerpt from the book "Whatever It Takes", by Paul Tough | page 42-43

Delinquency was a result of poverty, and it could only be solved by "a total attack on the problems of disadvantaged youth." Why are poor people poor? The reformers had found an answer: because the government wasn't helping enough.
President Lyndon Johnson helped turn the ideas of the reformers into federal policy, declaring what he called the War on Poverty and pledging billions of government dollars to aid the nation's poor. It was a hopefully moment, but it didn't last long; by the end of the decade, most concluded that the war had been lost due to a variety of factors --- the war in Vietnam which sopped up most of the extra funding allocated to social programs | the riots that spread within American inner cities enraging blacks and intimidating whites | the political radicalization of black American leaders who wanted not community job programs but full-scale revolution. 

Also contributing to the disintegration of the reform effort were two government reports (issued in '65 and '66) that inflamed and later suppressed public debate over poverty. The first was a confidential internal memorandum titled: "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action", or better known as the Moynihan Report, (which) quickly became infamous for arguing that "at the heart of the deterioration of the fabric of Negro society is the deterioration of the Negro family." 

In the report, Moynihan took pains to emphasize that what he defined as the "pathology" of many ghetto families, including high rates of illegitimacy, divorce, and single motherhood, was the direct result of slavery and racism, and he said it was the responsibility of the nation as a whole to address the situation. But his report was condemned by many civil rights leaders, who felt that it was simply the latest manifestation of the white desire to see African Americans as inferior, irresponsible, immoral, and sexually irrepressible.

The second report, Equality of Educational Opportunity, colloquially known as the Coleman Report -- was explicitly intended to demonstrate that educational opportunities in the US were racially unequal. Instead, it concluded the opposite: . . . black students and white students now received approximately equal resources. A school's financial resources were not the main contributing factor to a child's educational success. It was the child's family background, they said, that made the more significant difference.

Together, these reports pointed toward the importance of the home environment in the negative outcomes experienced by many poor children. They also demonstrated the political danger in reaching such controversial conclusions. The Coleman Report was greeted mostly with silence and dismissals, the Moynihan Report with angry denunciations. 

"The controversy surround the Moynihan report had the effect of curtailing serious research on minority problems in the inner city for over a decade, as liberal scholars shied away from researching behavior construed as unflattering or stigmatizing to particular racial minorities." Government aid kept flowing into ghettos, in substantial amounts, but many of the thinkers who had helped turn on the taps didn't want to have to think any more about where exactly it was going or what effect it was having. For many years, the debate over poverty had been a thoroughly liberal conversation, with the only disagreements coming from the different stations of left-leaning thought. Now liberals mostly recused themselves altogether from the uncomfortable question of the disappointing condition of the country's poor minorities. Into the vacuum came a new generation of conservative scholars, led by Charles Murray, a social scientist who was then a fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Murray's book "Losing Ground" (1984), offered a counter-history of poverty in America, as well as a new look at this question: Why are poor people poor? Murray's answer: because government is helping too much. He argued that the Great Society programs that grew out of the War on Poverty didn't only fail to help poor people, they actually hurt poor people. He conceded that overall poverty figures had fallen sharply since Kennedy's inauguration, but all of that progress, he pointed out, had come in the 60s, and Murray contended that serious expenditures on Great Society programs only began in the 70s, at exactly the moment the drop-off in the poverty rate stalled. Beyond those top-line poverty numbers, though, Murray was able to provide some powerful and disturbing statistics about the way the lives and prospects of poor people, and especially poor minorities, had changed since the War on Poverty began. . . 

Murray argued that the existing system of aid to the needy provided an array of perverse incentives that encouraged poor people not to work, not to marry, and to have children at an early age and out of wedlock. His solution to this growing crises was a drastic one. He proposed "scrapping the entire federal welfare and income-support structure for working-aged persons, including Medicaid, Food Stamps, Unemployment Insurance, Worker's Compensation, subsidized housing, disability insurance, and the rest." This, he wrote, "would leave the working-aged person with no recourse whatsoever except the job market, family members, friends, and public or private locally funded services." 

What Murray was proposing was a kind of radical social Darwinism. "Some people are better than others," he starkly concluded. "They deserve more of society's rewards, of which money is only one small part. A principle function of social policy is to make sure they have the opportunity to reap those rewards. Government cannot identify the worthy, but it can protect a society in which the worthy can identify themselves."

Excerpt from the book, "Whatever it Takes", by Paul Tough

For more than a century, the conventional wisdom on the question of American poverty has swung back and forth, depending on the tides of politics and the economy, between two poles. One explanation blames powerful economic and social forces beyond the control of any one individual. This belief holds that it is the very structure of the American economy that denies poor people sufficient income, and so the appropriate and just solution is to counter those economic forces by providing the poor with what they lack: food, housing, and money. The opposing explanation for American poverty is that it is caused by the bad decisions of poor people themselves and often perpetuated by the very programs designed to help relieve its effects. If this theory is correct, what the poor need is not handouts, but moral guidance and strict rules.

As Susan Mayer, a public policy professor at the University of Chicago explains in her book WHAT MONEY CAN'T BUY, each era of state-sponsored generosity toward the poor in American history has been followed by an era in which government aid was judged to be part of the problem, not part of the solution. At the beginning of the 19th century, local public agencies offered poor families "outdoor relief," an ad hoc system that provided the poor with aid at home, whether it was food, clothing, or cash. In the middle of the 19th century, though, outdoor relief came to be seen as encouraging idleness and dependency among poor families, and new restrictions were put on aid in order to promote the moral fiver of the poor. If the destitute wanted help, they were required to enter poorhouses, harsh, unpleasant institutions where they were expected to work in exchange for food and other assistance.

. . Their impressions were that the school had some issues. The two visitors delivered what sounded like a sweeping critique of his entire model. . . The end result of their conversation was basically . . . that the leaders of those school networks had experience and know-how, and they weren't trying to run a school and a social service organization simultaneously, the way Canada was. . . As long as Canada kept trying to do both jobs at once, they said, it was going to be hard for him to compete with specialists who did nothing but operate charter schools.
Canada was taken aback .. . . what the two men were describing would mean an enormous tactical change -- giving an outside organization control over one of the key elements of the Harlem Children's Zone strategy. When he spoke later with Druckenmiller and Lagone, they said they thought the idea made a lot of sense. At the very least, they told Canada, it was worth considering.

Their research clearly showed that it was not race or class but cognitive ability --- the kind measured on standardized tests -- that best predicted socioeconomic success. . . 

By the end of my research, I'd discovered that the key difference between neighborhoods turned out to be what I call SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE: the physical places and organizations that shape the way people interact.

Crime Prevention [...] begins with the insight that a person who is likely to commit a crime in a certain environment would never consider doing so in another. . .
There are no criminals, only environmental circumstances which result in criminal behavior. Given the proper environmental structure, anyone will be a criminal or a noncriminal. 
Instead, crime is best managed "through the manipulation of the environment where crimes occur."
To this day, however, most policies that aim to reduce crime focus on punishing people rather than improving places. 

UN studies conducted in more than 40 developing countries show that the birth rate falls as women gain equality. . . The reasons for this are numerous.
-- Education delays marriage and procreation
-- Better educated women are more likely to use contraceptives, and more likely to earn a livelihood
I believe that income-earning opportunities that empower poor women and bring them into organizational folds will have more impact on curbing population growth than the current system of "encouraging" family planning practices through intimidation tactics. "Family" planning should be left to the family.

When policy makers finally realize that the poor are their partners, rather than bystanders or enemies, we will progress much faster than we do today. -Muhammad Yunus

There will be a poverty trap whenever the scope for GROWING INCOME OR WEALTH AT A VERY FAST RATE is limited for those who have too little to invest. . . If the potential for fast growth is high among the poor, and then tapers off as one gets richer, there is no poverty trap.

Economists use the term 'human capital' to refer to the skills and abilities and qualities and resources that each individual possesses. And in the late 90s and early 2000s, human capital became an increasingly popular way to look at the problem of poverty.
No one had all the answers yet, but they had, at least, a new set of questions: What specific resources did middle-class children have that allowed them to succeed at such higher rates than poor children? What skills did poor children need to help them compete? And most important, what kind of interventions in their lives or in their parents' lives could help them acquire those skills?

...From the very first days of life, the middle class children received extra stimulation and support, an ever-present helping hand that allowed them to develop and hone exactly those skills that they would need to succeed in school and as adults.

In group attachments and prejudices against others diminish when people interact across the usual social boundaries. Democratic politics, works better when we are regularly exposed to different people and competing positions. Civil society does too. 

The poorest people in the world usually live in countries characterized by violent conflict, over-dependence on natural resources, physical isolation, and catastrophic governance. State services are frequently corrupt, ineffective, or nonexistent, and violence is commonplace.

Big problems, like extreme poverty, are tied to chronic, systemic issues. If efforts are focused on short-term projects alone, we may not be working an impact on poverty in the long run or in the toughest places. GIVEWELL charities help alleviate immediate suffering, which is critical. But other models exist that aim to stop the cycle of poverty itself.

The poor end up in schools that make it very clear quite early that they are not wanted unless they show some exceptional gifts, and they are in effect expected to suffer in silence until they drop out.
This creates a huge waste of talent. Among all those people who drop out somewhere b/w primary school and college and those who never start school, many, perhaps most, are the victims of some misjudgment somewhere: parents who give up too soon, teachers who never tried to teach them, the students' own diffidence.
Some of these people almost surely had the potential to be professors of economics or captains of industry. Instead they became daily laborers or shopkeepers, or if they were lucky, they made it to some minor clerical position. The slots that they left vacant were grabbed, in all likelihood, by mediocre children of parents who could afford to offer their children every possible opportunity to make good.

To be able to save every week or ever month, they (the poor) have to surmount self-control problems over and over again... The problem is that self-control is like a muscle: it gets tired as we use it, and therefore it would not be a surprise if the poor find it harder to save. This is compounded by the fact that the poor live under considerable stress, and stress-induced cortisol makes us choose more impulsive decisions. The poor thus have to do a harder job on fewer resources.

Saving behavior crucially depends on what people expect will happen in the future. Poor people who feel that they will have opportunities to realize their aspirations will have strong reasons to cut down on their "frivolous" consumption and invest in that future. 
Those who feel that they having nothing to lose, by contrast, will tend to make decisions that reflect that desperation.
This may explain not only the differences b/w rich and poor but also the differences among different poor people.
. . .Thinking about long-term goals and getting used to making short-term sacrifices in order to get there are the first steps, toward liberation from one of the most frustrating aspects of poverty.

Although we have no magic bullets to eradicate poverty, we DO know a number of things about how to improve the lives of the poor. . .

In particular, five key lessons emerge.
1) The poor often lack critical pieces of information and believe things that are not true. . . 
They are unsure about the benefits of immunizing children; 
They think there is little value in what is learned during the first few years of education; 
They don't know how much fertilizer they need to use; they don't know which is the easiest way to get infected with HIV; 
They don't know what their politicians do when in office. . . 

When their firmly held beliefs turn out to be incorrect, they end up making the wrong decision, with drastic consequences (sometimes), the resulting uncertainty can be damaging . . . i.e. the uncertainty about the benefits of immunization combines with the universal tendency to procrastinate.
Citizens who vote in the dark are more likely to vote for someone of their ethnic group, at the cost of increasing bigotry and corruption.

It seems that in order to work, an information campaign must have several features: 
It must say something that people don't already know; 
It must do so in an attractive and effective way;
And it must come from a credible source

2) The poor bear responsibility for too many aspects of their lives. 
The richer you are, the more the "right" decisions are made for you. The poor have no piped water, and therefore do not benefit from the chlorine that the city government puts into the water supply. (More details on page 269). . . 
They have no automatic way to save, such as a retirement plan or a contribution to Social Security, so they have to find a way to make sure that they save.
Salt fortified with iron and iodine could be made cheap enough that everyone buys it. Savings accounts, the kind that make it easy to put money and somewhat costlier to take it out, can be made easily available to everyone by subsidizing the cost for the bank that offers them.

3) The poor get a negative interest rate from their savings accounts (if they are lucky), and pay exorbitant rates on their loans. 
The market for health insurance for the poor has not developed, despite the devastating effects of serious health problems in their lives, because the limited insurance options are not what the poor want.
In some cases, a technological or an institutional innovation may allow a market to develop where it was missing ----- This happened in the case of microcredit, which made small loans at more affordable rates available to millions of poor people.
Electronic money transfers and unique ID for individuals may radically cut the cost of providing savings and remittance services to the poor over the next few years.
We should recognize that this may entail giving away goods or services for free or even rewarding people, strange as it might sound, for doing things that are good for them.
It often ends up being cheaper, per person saved, to distribute a service for free than to try to extract a nominal fee.
Governments could subsidize insurance premiums, or distribute vouchers that parents can take to any school, private, or public, or force banks to offer free "no frills" savings accounts to everyone for a nominal fee.
School vouchers work well when all parents have a way of figuring out the right school for their children.

4) Poor countries are not doomed to failure because they have had an unfortunate history.
But many of these failures have more to do with some avoidable flaw in the detailed design of policies, and the ubiquitous three I's: ignorance, ideology, and inertia.
The fad at the moment is turned into a policy without any attention to the reality within which it is supposed to function.

A small revolution can be achieved by making sure that everyone is invited to village meetings; by monitoring government workers and holding them accountable for failures in performing their duties; by monitoring politicians ta all levels and sharing this information with voters; and by making clear to users of public services what they should expect -- what the exact health center hours are, how much money (or bags of rice) they are entitled to.

5) Expectations about what people are able or unable to do all too often end up turning into self-fulfilling prophecies.
Children give up on school when their teachers signal to them that they are not smart enough to master the curriculum; 
Fruit sellers don't make the effort to repay their debt because they expect that they will fall back into debt very quickly; 
Nurses stop coming to work b/c nobody expects them to be there;
Politicians whom no one expects to perform have no incentive to try improving people's lives.

Greater reads: