Business_Executives_On Poverty
Too often there is a disconnect between the business world and those around the globe suffering from poverty.  These two worlds are perceived as either completely unrelated, or to a certain extent, antagonistic.  However, funding global development and combating poverty are smart business choices.

When business promotes development in ailing communities, healthy and prosperous people create new markets.  As stated by current Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, “We need to stop viewing it as aid.  It’s an investment.”

Viewing global aid in that vein, it becomes much easier to see how the determination it takes to create a successful business is quite similar to the dedication necessary to fight global poverty.

Here, then, are ten quotes from business executives that you should apply in your daily fight to end poverty worldwide.

1. “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” – Roy Disney

2. “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” – Malcolm Forbes

3. “Think P.I.G. – that’s my motto.  P stands for persistence, I stands for integrity, and G stands for guts.  These are the ingredients for a successful business and a successful life.” – Linda Chandler

4. “We’re here to put a dent in the universe.  Otherwise, why even be here?” – Steve Jobs

5. “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch

6. “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” – Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

7. “Apply yourself.  Get all the education you can, but then, by God, do something.  Don’t just stand there, make it happen.” – Lee Iacocca

8. “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree long before.” – Warren Buffet

9. “I believe if you show people the problems and you show people the solutions, they will be moved to act.” – Bill Gates

10. “Creativity often consists of merely turning up what is already there” – Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

Taylor Diamond

Sources: ThinkExist, Thought Catalog, BrainyQuote
Photo: HEC

Bill_Gates
As one of the richest men on the planet, a philanthropist extraordinaire with his own multi-million dollar fund and a proponent for the human race, billionaire Bill Gates shouldn’t only be perceived as the father of Microsoft — he’s a prominent source of inspiration and hope.

Following are five advocative quotes by the legendary man, certain to motivate and incite toward action:

1. “I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.”

2. “I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.”

3. “People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn’t they? People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines… There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.”

4. “At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top – I’m afraid that’s not quite right.”

5. “The general idea of the rich helping the poor, I think, is important.”

What’s truly important to keep in mind here is that Mr. Gates, no matter how successful, is only human—much like everyone else. Due to his accomplishments, there probably isn’t a single person unfamiliar with his name in the modern day world.

However, Bill Gates himself pays attention to those in need; he donates money and funds research that is helping to alleviate global poverty.

These hand-picked quotes are only a sample of the reflective thoughts he produces; the encouraging simple truths they present should function as incentives for hard work.

– Natalia Isaeva

Sources: BrainyQuote, The Gates Notes
Photo: CNN

Martin Luther King Quotes on Poverty
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr will forever hold a place in the hearts of millions of people around the world. The immediate need for freedom from racism, discrimination and flat out brutality toward African Americans will forever be King’s message. However, Dr. King also used his platform to shed light on global poverty.

He expressed the need for poverty to be abolished and the need for nations to come together to combat this growing problem. Here are excerpts of Dr. King’s written documents concerning the dire need to end poverty.

Excerpts from Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize address in 1964:
“A second evil which plagues the modern world is that of poverty. Like a monstrous octopus, it projects it’s nagging, prehensile tentacles in lands and villages all over the world. Almost two thirds of the peoples of the world go to bed hungry at night. They are undernourished, ill-housed, and shabbily clad. Many of them have no houses or beds to sleep in. Their only beds are the sidewalks of the cities and the dusty roads of the villages. Most of these poverty-stricken children of God have never seen a physician or a dentist.”

“So it is obvious that if a man is to redeem his spiritual and moral ‘lag,’ he must go all out to bridge the social and economic gulf between the ‘haves’ and ‘have not’s’ of the world. Poverty is one of the most urgent items on the agenda of modern life.”

“There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it.”

“The time has come for an all- out world war against poverty.”

“The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these.'”

Excerpts from Dr. King’s “Let My People Go” speech. Human Rights Day December 10, 1965:
“Africa does have spectacular savages and brutes today, but they are not black. They are the sophisticated white rulers of South Africa who profess to be cultured, religious and civilized, but whose conduct and philosophy stamp them unmistakably as modern-day barbarians.

We are in an era in which the issue of human rights is the central question confronting all nations. In this complex struggle an obvious but little appreciated fact has gained attention-the large majority of the human race is non-white-yet it is that large majority which lives in hideous poverty. While millions enjoy an unexampled opulence in developed nations, ten thousand people die of hunger each and every day of the year in the undeveloped world.”

An excerpt from “Where do we go from Here: Chaos or Community” written in 1967:
Sadly this is Dr. King’s last book before he was tragically assassinated.

“I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective – the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed matter: the guaranteed income.”

“The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.”

Nearly fifty years after these words were breathed, they still reign true; especially since poverty continues to be a problem for millions of people in 2013. Let us not allow Dr. King‘s words to remain in the past. We must give them life again and continue to make this world a better place, as Dr. Martin Luther King did nearly fifty years ago.

Amy Robinson

Sources: Nobleprize, RFKSA Film, Progress,
Photo: BAR Photography

princess
Published in 1943 amidst the chaos of the Second World War, Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is classified as a children’s book. Being both the most sold and most translated French piece ever written, however, the novella about a peculiar young boy is much more than that. Told from the point of view of a pilot stranded after his plane crashes in the Sahara desert, it is an emotional, deeply meaningful and philosophically-loaded journey.

More than half a century after being written, The Little Prince still has a few things to teach anyone willing to listen. A tale of love, sacrifice, loneliness, greed and the importance of staying true to oneself, it is a profound study of human nature, told in the simplest of jargon and skillfully presented through the unlikely platform of fairy tales.

The Little Prince himself is a confused character: traveling in space away from his home planet, he is driven by heartbreak from caring for someone who was too vain and spoiled to love him back – a beautiful rose which mysteriously came to grow on his planet.

The Prince’s journey takes him to many planets; he encounters various characters who through their actions symbolize vanity, redundancy, close-mindedness and others alike. As shown through the eyes of, essentially, a child, these and other vices seem all the more pointless and illogical. For example, on one of the destinations our hero encounters a drunkard. He tells the prince that he drinks so that he may forget his shame. “Of what?” asks the Prince. “The shame of drinking!” the drunkard retorts. Commenting on the weirdness of adults, our boy leaves the man alone.

Eventually he reaches Earth, where he meets the narrator and later on, a lonesome fox. The Prince always brings up his rose, obviously angry and frustrated, but also increasingly worried about her. The fox comes to tell him a simple truth: “You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.” The value of this quote can be translated as such: this world is our rose. To neglect any part of it is to betray the ties we’ve established – it’s selfish as it is unthinkable.

Another essential thing the fox tells us is that “the most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched; they are felt with the heart.” That is, materialistic things can never bear the same importance as kindness, selflessness, friendship and affection. If more people could live by these words, issues such as global poverty would doubtfully be as prevalent.

Visiting a train station, the Little Prince gets to witness in awe, the locomotives go by, speeding away in the distance. People are in a hurry to get somewhere, but what important things are they pursuing – he wonders? “’They are pursuing nothing at all,’ said the switchman. ‘They are asleep in there, or if they are not asleep they are yawning. Only the children are flattening their noses against the windowpanes.’” Surely, these passengers have lost their ways. Consumed by greed, or perhaps laziness or conceit, they waste their lives away in an endless road leading to nowhere. Children are innocent, selfless; that’s why they are superior to the adults in this quote’s context.

Inspirational and pure, The Little Prince’s tale should be known to everyone in the world. Too often we are too blinded by materialist concepts to see the beauty of other human beings. Truth is, each and every one of us was once an innocent, hopeful, positive and loving child – channel that child more often and influence others to do the same.

– Natalia Isaeva

Sources: Good Reads, The Little Prince
Photo: Giphy.com

roosevelt Quotes from World Leaders on Human Rights
1. David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
“If we are going to try to get across to the poorest people in the world that we care about their plight and we want them to join one world with the rest of us, we have got to make promises and keep promises.”

2. Irene Khan, former Secretary-General of Amnesty International
“Poverty is not only about income poverty, it is about the deprivation of economic and social rights, insecurity, discrimination, exclusion and powerlessness. That is why human rights must not be ignored but given even greater prominence in times of economic crisis.”

3. Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

“Discrimination and multiple deprivations of human rights are also frequently part of the problem, sentencing entire populations to poverty… It is surely a matter of outrage that over half a million women die annually from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. This is nearly half the annual global death toll, and arguably, a direct reflection of the disempowerment of women in social, economic and political life.”

4. Jesse Jackson, American Statesman and Civil Rights Activist
“The great responsibility that we have today is to put the poor and the near poor back on front of the American agenda.”

5. Pope Francis “A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table, but above all to satisfy the demands of justice, fairness and respect for every human being.”

6. Dalai Lama XIV “No matter what part of the world we come from, we are all basically the same human beings. We all seek happiness and try to avoid suffering. We have the same basic human needs and concerns. All of us human beings want freedom and the right to determine our own destiny as individuals and as peoples. That is human nature.”

7. Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Human Rights Activist
“I don’t know why people have divided the whole world into two groups, west and east. Education is neither eastern nor western. Education is education and it’s the right of every human being.”

8. Pranab Mukherjee, President of India 
“There is no humiliation more abusive than hunger.”

9. Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations
“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.”

10. Barack Obama, President of the United States
“This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many.”

11. Desmond Tutu, Noble Peace Prize Laureate
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

12. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
“History proves that all dictatorships, all authoritarian forms of government are transient. Only democratic systems are not transient. Whatever the shortcomings, mankind has not devised anything superior.”

13. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian President
“The world is in need of an encompassing and of course, just and humane order in the light of which the rights of all are preserved and peace and security are safeguarded.”

14. Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, Cuban Foreign Minister
“This problem will knock on the doors of all of us, whether through uncontrolled and unmanageable migration flows, by means of diseases and epidemics, as a result of the conflicts generated by poverty and hunger, or as a result of events which are today unforeseeable.”

15. Warren Buffett, American Investor and Philanthropist
“Someone is sitting in the shade today, because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

Tyson Watkins

Sources: Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights: Quotes, Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights: Statement by Navenethem Pillay, Catholics Confront Global Poverty, Dalai Lama, Think Exist, Brainy Quote

Photo: Vintage 3D

JFK Quotes
Being one of the most influential, charismatic, memorable American presidents of all time, John F. Kennedy didn’t get to serve even one full term in office before his tragic demise. He did, however, manage to leave quite the legacy behind: his philanthropic efforts, chiefly focused on prioritizing the revolution of human rights, first sparked the initiation of the Peace Corps. “Jack” had a lot to say about the subject; following are the most prominent, inspirational and thought-provoking of JFK’s quotes relating to poverty:

1. “The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.”

2. “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

3. “To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge—to convert our good words into good deeds—in a new alliance for progress—to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty.”

4. “Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need—not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, ‘rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation’—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.”

5. “We can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

JFK’s quotes, the man’s impact on the world before his disastrous death, and the very philosophy carefully hidden behind each word in his writing should not go unnoticed: although his physical body long gone, his good will and kind heart live on eternally through our memories and actions. Let yourself be inspired by JFK’s words to build a better tomorrow for all.

– Natalia Isaeva

Sources: The White House, The Quotations Page, JFK Experience

three_cups_of_tea_book
No matter what your political leanings may be, these books cannot help but convince readers of the importance of global development. As you read the anecdotes and arguments presented in these books, remember that only 1 percent of the U.S. budget goes to foreign aid – and change begins with you.

1. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

After traveling and mountain-climbing in the Himalayas, Mortenson launched a mission to bring schools and education to children living in remote regions of central Asia. His moving book outlines the importance of local development projects targeted at education, capacity building and sustainability. Through Mortenson’s activism and writing, the Taliban’s hold has been reduced over previously unprotected and disempowered communities.

2. Partner to the Poor by Dr. Paul Farmer

World-renowned doctor, anthropologist and humanitarian Paul Farmer defines the term “structural violence” and explains its connection to global health in this gripping book. Farmer writes about the structural elements of political and social life that systematically undermine access to healthcare in rural Haitian, Rwandan and Peruvian communities. His arguments on political instability’s effect on population compel readers to see the vast impact of foreign policy and aid.

3. The Practice of International Health by Ananya Roy and Daniel Perlman

This book offers a series of personal accounts from physicians and humanitarians providing healthcare around the world. More so than other anecdotes, these stories provide a detailed picture of the logistical and cultural challenges international development projects face. However, rather than discouraging such projects, “The Practice of International Health” demonstrates how such barriers can be overcome in order to achieve remarkable success.

4. Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Journalists Kristoff and WuDunn cover a lot of ground in this entertaining and heartbreaking collection of stories. Similar to Mortenson’s work, “Half the Sky” emphasizes the importance of grassroots organizations, illuminating the tireless efforts of individuals in India, China, Afghanistan and Ethiopia on the behalf of women. In the book’s epilogue, Kristoff and WuDunn also provide an extensive list of nonprofits doing amazing work around the world, as well as easy steps for getting involved in female empowerment and global development.

5. Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus

Microfinance has both supporters and critics, but after reading this autobiography by the founder of the Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, readers might find that their opinion has changed. Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work in providing small-value loans to women in rural areas in order to promote economic growth among families and villages.

Shelly Grimaldi

Sources: GoodReads, Banker to the Poor
Photo: Wishes 4 Life

10 Ways to Make a Difference
The world is a big place filled with billions of people. It is easy to think that one person can’t possibly do enough to change the world. When the weight of global issues simply feels too huge for one person to handle, we have to remember that we do have power to make a difference, even if it starts on a small scale. Listed below are 10 ways to make a difference that may not change the whole world, but will be sure to change someone else’s world.

 

Do Good: 10 Ways to Make a Difference

 

1. Smile! Being friendly to others is a great way to brighten someone else’s day. Whether it’s at the store, work, or simply walking along the street, a nice gesture like a smile could go a long way for someone having a bad day.

2. Do Some Volunteer Work. Volunteering is an amazing experience that gets us out of our daily routines, and makes us turn our efforts outwards. Go out and help feed the homeless, volunteer at local events, even picking up trash in your city is a great way to give back to the community!

3. Sponsor a Child. There are tons of organizations looking for people to sponsor children in need in countries around the world. These organizations are literally only a click away, and don’t take much time to sign up for. It is a small price to pay to make an incredible difference in a child’s life.

4. Invest and Listen. Society has become so drenched in the buzz of technology that real face-to-face interaction and relationship is growing scarce. Next time you throw out the standard, “Hi, how you doin?” make an effort to really invest in what is going in that person’s life. Ask questions that show you really care and want to listen.

5. Teach! Go out and teach a skill to someone who wants to learn. Whether it’s teaching someone how to drive, or helping a student with their homework, your lessons will make a huge impact on their lives.

6. Donate. If you’re anything like the typical American, you have a lot of stuff. When it comes time to get rid of something or buy something new, make a donation instead! There are many ways to make donations online and in your community.

7. Stop What You’re Doing and HELP. It’s easy to think that our priorities are the ones that matter the most. When you’re driving and see someone along the road struggling with a flat, stop to help. Wouldn’t you want a person to do the same for you? There are tons of ways for us to lend a helping hand throughout our day.

8. Team Up with Someone to Live Healthier. Oftentimes having a workout partner is the best kind of motivation out there. If someone you know keeps talking about how he/she wants to get in shape, join them! This will make a huge impact on their lives, and together, you’ll both be on your way to a healthier life.

9. Make a Care Package. Care packages are easy and affordable to make, and they can be used in so many different ways. They can be sent overseas, or used locally! Next time you’re out and about and see a homeless person with a sign offer them a care package. The packages are great to keep a supply of in your car, and they go a long way.

10. Have an Outward Gaze. We live in a pretty self-centered society. Many of us are taught at a young age to do what is going to make us most successful; this can lead us to do a lot things that are only self-serving. It’s time for a change of perspective! Start thinking in ways that turn that self-centered gaze outward. See what it’s like to put others’ needs before yours. You won’t regret it.

– Chante Owens

Sources: Zen Habits, Forbes
Photo: Compassion