prosperity - the Law of Attraction


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

Poverty is not the absence of goods, but rather the overabundance of desire.


I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion about the means.  I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.

Benjamin Franklin
If you are preoccupied with people who are talking about the poor, you scarcely have time to talk to the poor.  Some people talk about hunger, but they don't come and say, "Mother, here is five rupees.  Buy food for these people."  But they can give a most beautiful lecture on hunger.
   I had the most extraordinary experience once in Bombay.  There was a big conference about hunger.  I was supposed to go to that meeting and I lost the way.  Suddenly I came to that place, and right in front of the door to where hundreds of people were talking about food and hunger, I found a dying man.  I took him out and I took him home.
   He died there.
   He died of hunger.
   And the people inside were talking about how in 15 years we will have so much food, so much this, so much that, and that man died.
   See the difference?

Mother Teresa
Words to Live By
If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.

Charles Darwin
Voyage of the Beagle

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

Frank McCourt
Angela's Ashes


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

Mohandas Gandhi


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
Creating a World Without Poverty


Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.


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.

Hélder Câmara
Essential Writings

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.

Mother Teresa


Poverty is not dishonorable in itself, but only when it
comes from idleness, intemperance, extravagance, and folly.




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our most recent e-zine - Great Thinkers - the people behind the words

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

I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one person 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.

Eugene V. Debs


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
Banker to the Poor


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.

George Orwell


It is a common condition of being poor. . . you 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

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


We must powder our wigs; that is why so many poor people have no bread.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Even today we don't pay serious attention to the issue of poverty,
because the powerful remain relatively untouched by it.  Most
people distance themselves from the issue by saying that if
the poor worked harder, they wouldn't be poor.

Muhammad Yunus
Banker to the Poor

People whose history and future were threatened each day by extinction
considered that it was only by divine intervention that they were able to
live at all.  I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence,
is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as
their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God
descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed.

Maya Angelou
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


As usual, in every scheme that worsens the position of the poor,
it is the poor who are invoked as beneficiaries.

Vandana Shiva


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

Samuel Johnson

Extreme poverty is not only a condition of unsatisfied material needs.
It is often accompanied by a degrading state of powerlessness.

Peter Singer
The Life You Can Save


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

Dorothy Day

Some of the best people that ever lived have been as destitute as I am;
and if you are a Christian, you ought not to consider poverty a crime.

Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre

This is the even-handed dealing of the world!" he said.  "There is nothing on
which it is so hard as poverty; and there is nothing it professes to
condemn with such severity as the pursuit of wealth!

Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol


The real disgrace of poverty is not in owning to
the fact but in declining to struggle against it.