I live in Africa where I come face to face on a daily basis with the tragic reality of unnecessary and avoidable poverty and suffering.
From my own personal experience of poverty, and my near minute by minute encounters with it in my immediate and extended environments, I can assure you that poverty is evil.
Poverty is evil
I have watched in utter horror as poverty stripped people of their dignity, self-esteem, and confidence. I have seen it wear down multitudes of men and women with with worries and anxieties. The negative pressure of poverty has pushed young girls into prostitution, young men into armed and unarmed robbery, and degraded previously responsible people into liars and cheaters. The statistics of millions of children dying from hunger and preventable diseases as a direct consequence of poverty is heart breaking. I observe daily how poverty makes people aggressive, desperate, narrow minded, bitter, cynical, resentful, and negative.
And probably, none of the afore mentioned ills is more unfortunate than the fact that poverty restricts people’s options and choices in life thereby making them victims and slaves to external forces and circumstances.
Poverty is a universal human phenomenon, but it’s effects seem more pronounced in certain societies than in others. A day in this country, a day on this continent is enough to convince you that poverty is an evil that must be eradicated from this planet!
Poverty is an artificial phenomenon
The most shocking aspect of poverty for me, is the realization that poverty is an alien phenomenon. It’s not natural. It’s artificial. Take one reflective look at the planet and you easily come to terms with the extravagant abundance of creation. From the abundance of sunlight to that of mineral resources in the earth, you realize that whereas people might be poor, the planet is not poor! The universe is in fact teeming and saturated with abundance of resources and provisions. This goes to show that the Creator never meant for man to be poor.
For this reason, I’m of the firm conviction that poverty is an unnatural and alien phenomenon. It is strange to the Creator’s design.
Poverty is the compound effect of man’s accumulated mistakes, errors of thought and judgment, speech and deeds, passed down from generation to generation.
It is not something to be ashamed of if you found yourself in it due to circumstances which predated you or which are beyond your control. But it is an evil that you must strive to eradicate from your life and posterity.
I do not know that we’ll be able to eliminate poverty entirely from the human race. But I do know that you can eradicate it from your personal life, and that you should strive to do so.
Poverty is spiritual
My vocation as a Christian Pastor confers on me the sacred duty of extracting essential life principles from the Holy Scriptures and then communicating them to my flock with the aim of inspiring them into positive metamorphic experiences.
The more I search the Scriptures for clues and keys to transform people from poverty the more convinced I am that:
- Poverty is more of a spiritual condition, than an economic one.
- The solution for poverty is much deeper than mere financial aid. It’s beyond cash.
I believe that governments and corporate institutions have critical roles to play towards the eradication of poverty. I do not, however, address myself to them. I deliberately address myself rather to the individual sufferer because I’m a firm believer in the concept of personal responsibility.
The cure for poverty is not money!
Poverty is much deeper than the absence of cash. As a matter of fact, the chronic lack of money is just one of the various manifestations of poverty. Poverty is essentially the inability to realize the fullness of one’s potentials in time and space. Poverty is a spiritual phenomenon that operates primarily through the mind in the form of a poverty mentality. Here it regulates thoughts, ideas, and decisions. Finally it manifests as poverty enhancing and entrenching actions and habits, thereby creating the tragic results we see around the world today.
For obvious reasons, the African experience of poverty is my primary frame of reference. People here have become conditioned to believe that the cure for poverty is cash, and I can imagine that this is also true of other societies.
This mindset is flawed.
The cure for poverty is not money!
The cure for poverty lies in the liberalizing of the soul through life-transforming and energizing spiritual enlightenment. I have always challenged and continue to challenge my fellow Africans, and people of all societies plagued by poverty, to go beyond cash in their search for lasting solutions to poverty. What we need in Africa and the rest of the world where people are suffering, is not more financial aid from rich donor countries, but rather a greater capacity for self-determination; a greater level of personal responsibility.
This greater capacity can only happen as each individual is inspired to expand their personal spiritual and mental awareness of their full rights and privileges as off springs of divinity.
This understanding is an underlying force behind my founding of the Success Academy Nigeria where young African men and women are challenged to develop a crystal clear awareness of the broadest range of life’s choices and options.
What do you think?
Are you touched by the plight of the world’s poor?
Do you believe that poverty can be eradicated from the world?
What do you think the individual and families caught in this vicious net can do to change their conditions?
Please share your thoughts.