Blessed are the Poor, in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:3)
For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always (Joh 12:8)
The Words of Christ imply a certain ‘appreciation’ for poverty and those who ‘suffer’ from it.
To only assume that Poverty is something we have to ‘eliminate’ in order to bring about a ‘better’ world may be somewhat presumptious of us.
It has been suggested that if we eliminated ‘wealth’ by taking the total assets of the human inhabitants of this planet and distributed it equitably among all the people who live on it, that within 2-5 years we would return to the inequality we have in it’s distribution today.
Eliminating Poverty is not going to be something we can do ‘in isolation’.
In order to eliminate poverty we would also need to eliminate quite a number of ‘larger’ issues.
We would need to eliminate the unequal distribution of people to available land and environmental resources.
America is incapable of feeding itself. It cannot currently produce all the food it’s people’s consume and relies upon imports from other countries for it’s very survival. This requires other countries to dedicate land which could be used to provide their own agricultural needs to meeting the needs of another part of the world in return for money (think coffee, sugar production for example).
Would you give up coffee so other countries could grow more rice to feed their people and prevent starvation from shortages of food?
This sort of consideration would not be enough to eliminate poverty – we would also need to eliminate or find ways to overcome simple human greed and corruption in governments. The example of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and the poverty and rampant hyperinflation destroying the population’s wealth (while ensuring His own remains superior to the vast majority of ‘his’ supporters who are beaten into voting for him).
Even eliminating this would not be enough to overcome poverty.
We would also need to overcome War between nations – between the have’s and the have not’s.
And to do that we need to overcome the human traits of Envy and Jealousy and Covetousness, because even when our basic needs are met – when we have enough food to feed ourselves and the hungry mouths of our children; when we have some land to work and to build a house upon to provide shelter for our self and family, when we have a Job to occupy us and provide some wealth to buy necessities and the occasional luxury or two; and even when we can afford to go on a holiday once a year or so to take a break from the ever increasing ‘pressure’ upon us to consume and provide and produce more and more each year to allow for the Global Economy’s sustained and increasing growth to ensure the profits of the global corporations are able to be bigger this year than the last.. even when all that is ‘met’, there will still be some who want even more and will find ways to take it from those who can’t afford to give any more than they have already.
Because of our Desire.
Because of our Greed.
Because of our Envy.
Because of our Jealousy.
Because we do not know how to, or even why we should, control those elements of ourself.
And until we do we will never eliminate poverty.
And we will always have the poor with us – and the poor of spirit inside of us.
Eliminating Poverty starts with eliminating the poverty of your own spirit inside you.