Poverty Quotes


You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.

Angela's Ashes

Frank McCourt

Angela's Ashes

Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you!

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë Brontë

Jane Eyre

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

Bread    Food    God    Humanity    Hunger    Poverty    Religion

The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty -- it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There's a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.

What a weary time those years were -- to have the desire and the need to live but not the ability.

Ham on Rye

Charles Bukowski

Ham on Rye

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.

Government    Guns    Military    Military budget    Politics    Poverty    War    Weapons

We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.

There is no Them. There are only facets of Us.

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.

That same night, I wrote my first short story. It took me thirty minutes. It was a dark little tale about a man who found a magic cup and learned that if he wept into the cup, his tears turned into pearls. But even though he had always been poor, he was a happy man and rarely shed a tear. So he found ways to make himself sad so that his tears could make him rich. As the pearls piled up, so did his greed grow. The story ended with the man sitting on a mountain of pearls, knife in hand, weeping helplessly into the cup with his beloved wife's slain body in his arms.

Contentment    Cring    Fables    Greed    Poverty    Sorrow    Tears    Wealth

There’s no way that Michael Jackson or whoever Jackson should have a million thousand droople billion dollars and then there’s people starving. There’s no way! There’s no way that these people should own planes and there people don’t have houses. Apartments. Shacks. Drawers. Pants! I know you’re rich. I know you got 40 billion dollars, but can you just keep it to one house? You only need ONE house. And if you only got two kids, can you just keep it to two rooms? I mean why have 52 rooms and you know there’s somebody with no room?! It just don’t make sense to me. It don’t.

Hungry    Money    Poverty    Reality    Rich    Tupac

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.

Inequality    Kindness    Money    Poverty    Progress    Wealth

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.

The Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath

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.

I had noticed that both in the very poor and very rich extremes of society the mad were often allowed to mingle freely.

Ham on Rye

Charles Bukowski

Ham on Rye
Madness    Mental illness    Poor    Poverty    Rich

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

Les Miserables

Victor Hugo

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.

Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.


MT

[Mother Teresa]
was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of
poverty
. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.

I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.

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

It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.

1984

George Orwell

1984

It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.

The Confessions

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The Confessions

Every life deserves a certain amount of dignity, no matter how poor or damaged the shell that carries it.

An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.

Humor    Hunger    Poverty

Close your eyes, Maxon."
"What?"
"Close your eyes.
Somewhere in this palace, there is a woman who will be your wife. This girl? Imagine that she depends on you. She needs you to cherish her and make her feel like the Selection didn't even happen. Like if you were dropped in your own out in the middle of the country to wander around door to door, she's still the one you would have found. She was always the one you would have picked. She needs you to provide for her and protect her. And if it came to a point where there was absolutely nothing to eat, and you couldn't even fall asleep at night because the sound of her stomach growling kept you awake—"
"Stop it!"
"Sorry."
"Is that really what it's like? Out there... does that happen? Are people hungry like that a lot?"
"Maxon, I..."
"Tell me the truth."
"Yes. That happens. I know of families where people give up their share for their children or siblings. I know of a boy who was whipped in the town square for stealing food. Sometimes you do crazy things when you are desperate."
"A boy? How old?"
"Nine."
"Have you ever been like that? Starving?...How bad?"
"Maxon, it will only upset you more."
"Probably, but I'm only starting to realize how much I don't know about my own country. Please."
"We've been pretty bad. Most time if it gets to where we have to choose, we keep the food and lose electricity. The worst was when it happened near Christmas one year. May didn't understand why we couldn't exchange gifts. As a general rule, there are never any leftovers at my house. Someone always wants more. I know the checks we've gotten over the last few weeks have really helped, and my family is really smart about money. I'm sure they have already tucked it away so it will stretch out for a long time. You've done so much for us, Maxon."
"Good God. When you said that you were only here for the food, you weren't kidding, were you?"
"Really, Maxon, we've been doing pretty well lately. I—"
"I'll see you at dinner.

The Selection

Kiera Cass

The Selection

A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things.

Hungry for love, He looks at you. Thirsty for kindness, He begs of you. Naked for loyalty, He hopes in you. Homeless for shelter in your heart, He asks of you. Will you be that one to Him?

Our hearts of stone become hearts of flesh when we learn where the outcast weeps.

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.

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.

America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves.... It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters.

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.

Humanity    Ignorance    Knowledge    Poverty    Truth    Wicked

A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar. (148)

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

Class    Condition    Human    Maldistribution    Poor    Poverty    Rich    Wealth

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.

Without Feathers

Woody Allen

Without Feathers
Finances    Life    Money    Poverty

I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions--poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed--which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished.
It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system survive it and hold on to their humanity.

An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.

Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.

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

The Big Sleep

Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep

When we want to help the poor, we usually offer them charity. Most often we use charity to avoid recognizing the problem and finding the solution for it. Charity becomes a way to shrug off our responsibility. But charity is no solution to poverty. Charity only perpetuates poverty by taking the initiative away from the poor. Charity allows us to go ahead with our own lives without worrying about the lives of the poor. Charity appeases our consciences.

The real opposition is that between the ego-bound man, whose existence is structured by the principle of having, and the free man, who has overcome his egocentricity.

The ever more sophisticated weapons piling up in the arsenals of the wealthiest and the mightiest can kill the illiterate, the ill, the poor and the hungry, but they cannot kill ignorance, illness, poverty or hunger.

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.

Although it is very easy to marry a wife, it is very difficult to support her along with the children and the household. Accordingly, no one notices this faith of Jacob. Indeed, many hate fertility in a wife for the sole reason that the offspring must be supported and brought up. For this is what they commonly say: ‘Why should I marry a wife when I am a pauper and a beggar? I would rather bear the burden of poverty alone and not load myself with misery and want.’ But this blame is unjustly fastened on marriage and fruitfulness. Indeed, you are indicting your unbelief by distrusting God’s goodness, and you are bringing greater misery upon yourself by disparaging God’s blessing. For if you had trust in God’s grace and promises, you would undoubtedly be supported. But because you do not hope in the Lord, you will never prosper.

Christianity    Faith    God    Marriage    Money    Parenthood    Parenting    Poverty    Protestantism    Purpose    Wealth

The wealth of a soul is measured by how much it can feel... its poverty by how little.

Poverty    Soul    Wealth

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.

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.

The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.

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