The Real Problem Lies Behind
Although we mostly agree about the effects of poverty, we have different opinions about its causes. These different views result to different reactions.
Many blame the governments for formulating policies that favor the rich. Some blame the rich for being too greedy and for having some sort of “conspiracy” that keeps the poor to remain poor. Others blame themselves for not having what It takes to elevate themselves from poverty. There are those who blame the wars. Still others blame God, while at the same time question his ability to control the world and sometimes challenge even his existence…all these because of poverty.
In The Surface
Poverty, according to Wikipedia, is
…the lack of human needs…because of the inability to afford them.”
I don’t disagree with the description above. Yet I want to argue that that is only the description of the surface. There is another cause that is seldom discussed or even mentioned by many people or organizations who focus on eliminating poverty. Their lack of our material needs is only the effect or the result of our way of thinking.
Mentality is the problem.
No matter how much money we give to the poor, most of them will always return to being poor because their mindset will drag them back to poverty. In contrast, no matter how much bankruptcy wealthy people experience, they will always recover from that bankruptcy. Their own mentality will lead them back to wealth and being rich, between the powerful and the weak.
I repeat: poverty is not our society’s problem. Instead, it is the effect of a chronic problem. Poverty is the surface. Our real problem is in the background: its the differences in the mentality between the poor and rich.
Behind the Surface
I like the wikipedia’s next description,
Poverty is additionally seen as a state of mind and a lifestyle- more than just a lack of materials. It is a state of deprivation and insecurity. Even those who can get above poverty are always close to falling back into its clutches.
Indeed, poverty mentality drags people, families, and sometimes entire communities to be poor. A person born in a poor family are influenced by his parents’ mentality. Well, that’s only true in the beginning. Initially, it’s his being poor that brought him to poverty mentality. Yet as he grows to adulthood and learns more about life, about himself, about others, and about the world he lives in, he learns to adjust his “mentality” or way of thinking to adapt to his reality.
John C. Maxwell teaches us the Winning Attitude and how to Think for a Change—a set of mentality embraced by successful people. Napoleon Hill describes a “formula” in his book, Think and Grow Rich. Another author, Brian Tracy, teaches us how our mind works in terms of reaching our dreams in his audiobook, The Psychology of Achievement. Robert Kiyosaki exposes in great details the great difference between the mindset of the poor and the “state of mind” of the rich. In his 3 books, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Cashflow Quadrant, and Guide to Investing, he repeatedly describes using different representations, the great gap between the mindset of the poor and the mindset of the rich.
I have also watched the movie The Secret. I have read other books like The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy, and the famous Emotional Intelligence of Dr. Daniel Goleman.
No matter how these authors call it and describe it, and no matter how diverse they are in providing representations of this, the idea will always bring us to my initial premise: the problem lies not on the outside physical circumstances that bring us a chronic condition, instead the problem lies inside our brain…in our mind.
If we consider that this is true, that poverty mentality is one great cause of poverty then why don’t we work together to teach ourselves and others on how to make positive changes in our way of thinking?
Albert Einstein said,
The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.