Poverty has been praised by poets, recommended by saints, and welcomed by philosophers. Again and again, we have heard it being said that the poor are blessed, for them the kingdom of God is assured. The poor live plainly but their mind is filled with noble thoughts. When one hears wise people become lyrical over all the blessings of poverty, one begins to wonder whether these people know what poverty really means and causes.Dr. Johnson, when knew by experience what exactly poverty was, had nothing but contempt for the fashionable philosophers seeking, naked, unrelieved want. It means want of food for a growing family, want of clothes in the season of cold, want of shelter against the blows of hostile weather, want of medical help in sickness, want of the means to carry on one’s studies. Who but a hypocrite or a fool will say that such a life of want is a blessing? Poverty is one long temptation to crimes of all kinds. The jail records will show that people have committed crimes under the pressure of poverty, even sold their bodies, due to dire want.It is said that the poor man, who is free from the distractions of wealth, is better able to devote himself to high thoughts. Poverty is a curse, — let there be no mistake about that and contentment with poverty is a crime if not a sin.

The society that quietly thinks of poverty has lost the power of feeling. When people contemplate the dazzling splendor of the rich man’s home, they come to acquire a sort of unspoken contempt for the drab ugliness of the poor man’s cottage. That is why the poor labor almost as hound to push themselves into the notice of their more fortunate brethren. Yet it is poverty, which impels one more to struggle against adverse circumstance, without compromising dignity.The man who is com­paratively poor has hope of being not so poor; it gives him the energy to struggle, the zest for action. But the genuinely poor man is in a pitiable condition. Social conditions are against him. He loses human dignity and self-respect.Poverty is the curse of a capitalist society where there is very little economic justice, where those who are willing, do not get work. Therefore, every thoughtful man today courses this system of capi­talism that gives rise to poverty and makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.

In a welfare state the Government, the missionary organizations and benevolent private persons set about alleviating poverty. The sovereign way to end poverty is to ensure equitable distribution of wealth and opportunities. If the amount that different countries spend each year on War and Defense is cut down by a small percentage, there will be no poverty. Poverty will be a thing of the past if the national income could be increased by six percent and the wealth is fairly distributed.

 

By:  Ammara Siddique