Quotes About Poverty

The World Bank reports that we are making significant strides towards reducing global poverty.  In 1981, approximately 50% of the developing world was living on less than $1.25 per day.  Today that number is reduced to just 21% despite rapid increases in population. To continue pushing forward on the battle against poverty, here are some quotes about poverty that will inspire while provoking honest reflection:

  • Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime. —Aristotle
  • We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition. —William James
  • The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man. —Napolean Bonaparte
  • I thank fate for having made me born poor. Poverty taught me the true value of the gifts useful to life. —Anatole France
  • I’d grown up thinking that a [sanitary toilet] was my right, when in fact it’s a privilege — 2.5 billion people worldwide have no adequate toilet. —Rose George
  • Child mortality [since 2000] is down by 2.65 million a year. That’s a rate of 7,256 children’s lives saved each day… It drives me nuts that most people don’t seem to know this news. —Bono
  • The opposite of poverty is not wealth. … In too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice. —Bryan Stevenson
  • We have two choices: One is to continue to see a poor, ill, crying Africa, carrying guns, that depends on other people forever, or to promote an Africa which is confident, peaceful, independent, but cognizant of its huge problems and great values at the same time. — Zeresenay Alemseged
  • When we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them—some food, a place in our homes, our time—not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched. I am well aware that when someone needing food knocks at your door, you always find a way of sharing food; as the proverb says, one can always ‘add more water to the beans’! Is it possible to add more water to the beans?…Always?…And you do so with love, demonstrating that true riches consist not in materials things, but in the heart! –Pope Francis
  • If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. –John F. Kennedy

We hope these quotes about poverty allow you to reflect and perhaps gain a new perspective.  It is never a wrong time to get involved in your local community or to help advocate for a world without poverty!

– Sunny Bhatt

Sources: World Bank, Confront Global Poverty, TED, Proverbia
Photo: Personal Excellence