QUOTES about POVERTY

The poverty of goods is easily cured; poverty of the soul is irreparable. Montaigne

To be obliged to beg our daily happiness from others bespeaks a more lamentable poverty than that of him that who begs his daily bread. Charles Caleb Colton

A poor spirit is poorer than a poor purse. Thomas Fuller

The superior man is anxious lest he should not get the truth; he is not anxious lest poverty should come upon him. Confucius

Poverty is such a relative thing; but no man is really poor till life becomes a desert island that gives him neither food nor shelter nor hope. H. V. Morton

Be sure that you give the poor the aid they most need. If you give money, spend yourself with it, and do not merely abandon it to them. Often the poor man is not cold and hungry as he is dirty and ragged and gross. It is partly his taste, and not merely his misfortune. Henry David Thoreau.

There is no scandal like rags, nor any crime so shameful as poverty. George Farquhar

Security, the chief pretense of civilization, cannot exist where the worst of dangers, the danger of poverty hangs over everyone’s head. George Bernard Shaw

The man with a toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound. The poverty stricken man makes the same mistake about the rich man. George Bernard Shaw

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

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

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

The poor man commands respect; the beggar must always excite anger. Napoleon

Little privations are easily endured when the heart is better treated than the body. Rousseau

He is now rising from affluence to poverty. Mark Twain

Nothing incites to money-crimes like great poverty or great wealth. Mark Twain

When neither their poverty nor their honor is touched, the majority of men live content. Niccolo Machiavelli

Our affluent society contains those of talent and insight who are driven to prefer poverty, to choose it, rather than to submit to the desolation of an empty abundance.  Michael Harrington

America has the best dressed poverty the world has ever known. Michael Harrington

Wealth and poverty; one is the parent of luxury and indolence, and the other of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent. Plato

For the first time in our history it is possible to conquer poverty. Lyndon B Johnson

The greatest of evils and the worst of crimes is poverty. George Bernard Shaw

As for the virtuous poor, one can pity them of course, but one cannot possibly admire them. Oscar Wilde

I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil. Robert F Kennedy

I would rather be rich affluent and greedy and go to hell when I die, than live in poverty on this earth. Al Capone

It is not easy for men to rise whose qualities are thwarted by poverty. Juvenal

He is much to be dreaded who stands in dread of poverty. Syrus

It is so much easier to talk of poverty than to think of the poor. Walter Lippmann

Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me. Bible

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. Frederick Douglass

A poor spirit is poorer than a poor purse. Thomas Fuller

Wherever there is excessive wealth, there is also in the train of it excessive poverty. Walter Savage Landor

Plain living is nothing but voluntary poverty. Seneca

Being poor is a bit like having an earache over a bank holiday. All you can think about is the pain, and how long it will be before a human hand can be found to take away the anguish. Quote from: Who on Earth is Tom Baker?

Ronald Reagan must love the poor; he is making so many of them. Anon

One chronicler writes of an area of India during the end of the 20th century: Almost no-one in this slum was poor by Indian benchmarks.  … True, a few residents trapped rats and frogs and fried them for dinner.  A few ate the scrub grass at the sewage lake edge.  And these individuals, miserable souls, thereby made an inestimable contribution to their neighbors. They gave those slum dwellers who didn't fry rats and eat weeds a sense of their upward mobility. Source: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo 

To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships. W. E. B. Du Bois

Poverty often means the inability to live within the parameters of one’s existence. Lorraine Bryant

Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred who will stand adversity. Thomas Carlyle 

He that hath nothing is frightened at nothing. Thomas Fuller

Rudolf Nureyev, later renowned throughout the globe for his magnificence in, writes of his childhood in Russia:  “I remember those endless six-month winters with no light and almost no food. I remember, too, Mother trudging off in the snow to bring back a few pounds of potatoes, on which we were to live for a week. When Mother had gone off on some exhausting search for something to eat, my sisters and I would crawl into bed and try to sleep. We had sold everything we possessed and everything we could possibly exchange for food. My father sold his own clothes: his belts, his braces, his boots. Quote source: Rudolf Nureyev: The Life by Julie Kavanagh 


The more humanity owes the poor man, the more society denies him. Rousseau

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

He is poor indeed that can promise nothing. Thomas Fuller

Anecdote: The East End seemed to be in the grip of yet another economic crisis. … By the winter of 1933, an army of the unemployed gathered daily outside the dock gates, desperate for a day or 2 paid work. …. There was no cushion, no disaster fund, no stashed savings, no government handouts  no syrup that could sweeten the bitter pill of poverty. Source: Hopping by Melanie McGrath

As long as there are rich people in the world, they will be wanting of distinguishing themselves from the poor. Rousseau 

Women prefer poverty with love to luxury without it.

Poor men seek meat for their stomach, rich men stomach for their meat. Proverb

At age 14, Shane Richie chose to act in a series of plays instead of accepting the summer job in a factory his dad had arranged. According to Richie’s account of his resulting stand-off with his father: He went mad.  “Nobody does that in our family.”… “That’s my dream, Dad,” I said to him, trying to explain why the plays meant more to me than a few quid in my back pocket.” “People like us can’t afford to have dreams,” he said. Source: Rags to Richie: the story so far by Shane Richie

We were happier when we were poorer, but we were also younger. Charles Lamb

A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization. Samuel Johnson

THE POT LADY
I am the Lady with the Pot
And I have come to ask
How far you go for water?
Is it an all-day task?
I am the Lady with the Pot
And I have come to say
Is your water from dirty swamps?
Like ours, we drink all day?
I am the Lady with the Pot
And as I look at you
I see you thinking ‘Gracious me!
Whatever can I do?’
I have an empty water pot…
If you put in one pound
Then all I’m dreaming of comes true –
A borehole in the ground!
I am the Lady with the Pot –
I have one simple plea
I’d like clean drinking water
For my children and family.
I am the Lady with the Pot;
When you're home for cozy tea
With water in your tap close-by
Please think, and talk, of me!
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DEFINITION and MEANING
Poverty constitutes the inability, due to financial constraints, to live according to the basic standards of one’s time.  This means that, like so many aspects of life, it becomes a matter of social context.  At times, serfs, servants, migrant workers and day laborers were thought to fall within the bounds of poverty.  Now, in our industrial society, lack of the means to afford mod-cons and internet access may be thought, by some, to constitute deprivation.


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