Quotes about poverty
A few quotes I have gathered concerning Poverty - some from very unusual sources!
"Debt is tearing down schools, clinics and hospitals and the effects are no less devastating than war." Dr. Adebayo Adedeji from the African Center for Development Strategy
"When we pray, we move our feet." African Proverb
"Every child in Africa is born with a financial burden which a lifetime's work cannot repay - the debt is a new form of slavery, as vicious as the slave trade." All Africa Conference of Churches
"The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another's existence" Sue Atchley Ebaugh
"Sometime in your life, hope that you might see one starved man, the look on his face when the bread finally arrives. Hope that you might have baked it or bought it or even needed it for yourself. For that look on his face, for your hands meeting his across a piece of bread, you might be willing to lose a lot, or suffer a lot, or die a little, even." Daniel Berrigan
"The biblical definition of justice is finding out who it belongs to, and returning it to them." Walter Brueggermann
"In the end, all forgivers do as Jesus did: They restore self-worth to the offender; they cancel a debt, they confer freedom; and they love beyond their imagining." Doris Donnelly
"There is a Christianity ... which takes off fetters instead of binding them on - that breaks every yoke - that lifts up the bowed down. It passes, link by link, until it finds the lowest link in humanity's chain - humanity's most degraded condition. It reaches down its arm and tells them to stand up." Frederick Douglas, abolitionist leader
"You and I, and our government must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage." President Eisenhower in farewell speech
"When spider webs unite they can entangle a lion." Ethiopian Proverb
"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love." Saint Francis of Assisi
"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the people who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a person but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." Viktor Frankl (Holocaust survivor)
"Debt is the worst poverty." Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732
"When large numbers of people live in abject poverty, a handful of people living in comfort and luxury amounts to a kind of violence." Mahatma Gandhi
"If we are to teach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children." Mahatma Gandhi
"What good is faith if it is not translated into action?" Mahatma Gandhi
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi
"If I were a parent in a poor, debt-riddled nation, cradling my dying child in my arms, my heart would be broken and I would cry out for a solution. My prayer is that the leaders of the world will heed these cries and will work together to solve this critical problem. As a follower of Jesus, however, I believe this is not just a political or economic issue, it's a moral and spiritual issue as well." The Rev. Billy Graham
"Be realistic, do the impossible." Che Guevara
"The world is out of joint. O cursed spite
That I was born to set it right." Hamlet
"They no longer use bullets and ropes. They use the World Bank and the IMF." Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. (in presentation to 11 African heads of state at Liberville, Gabon)
"Its [Africa's] debt burden is the new economy's chains of slavery. Servicing the debt takes from the most impoverished to give to the most affluent." Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.
"The journey is not always straight or forward. Sometimes we go back and forth or up and down. Progress may not always be measurable or visible." George S. Johnson
"When the slumbering giants of injustice emerge in the earth, we need to know that there is a God of power who can cut them down like the grass…" Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Only through spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit." Martin Luther King, Jr.
"When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Martin Luther King, Jr. "Where do we go from here?" 1967
"To accept passively an unjust system is to cooperate with that system; thereby the oppressed become as evil as the oppressor." Martin Luther King, Jr.
"In spite of the tensions and uncertainties of our age, something profoundly meaningful has begun. Old systems of exploitation and oppression are passing away and new systems of justice and equality are being born. In a real sense ours is a great time to be alive." Martin Luther King, Jr.
"It is hard to imagine a more frightening time than this. We are alive in a fearsome time, and we have been given new things to fear. We've been delivered huge blows but also huge opportunities to reinforce or reinvent our will, depending on where we look for honor and how we name our enemies… The changes we dread most may contain our salvation." Barbara Kingsolver Small Wonders
"Political urgencies come and go, but it's a fair enough vocation to strike one match after another against the dark isolation, when spectacular arrogance rule the day and tries to force hope into hiding…I'd like to speak of small wonders, and the possibility of taking heart." Barbara Kingsolver Small Wonders
"There can be no greater spiritual accomplishment than to come through brutal times and then look back and see that mean times did not render us mean spirits." Barbara Kingsolver Small Wonders (2002)
"These days, when I lower my pitcher
into the well, I draw forth
only salt water. I don't see how
our thirst is going to be quenched.
Yet I believe the deepest wellspring
Remains uncontaminated. This at least
I can do for you, sister,
Since I still have tears
While you have wept your eyes
To a dry desolation; weep
On your behalf till the rain
returns and fills the riverbed." Stevie Krayer (Jewish Quaker poet from Wales)
"Justice is not about change of structure but transformation of relationship." Mary Jo Leddy
"Good news for the poor is that they are poor no more." Steven Mohammed, New Testament Church of God, Trinidad
"O God, to whom we owe
more than we can count,
in our desire to control all that will come to be,
we hold your children in the grip of debt which they cannot repay;
and make them suffer now
the poverty we dread.
Do not hold us to our debts,
but unchain us from our fear,
that we may release others
into an open future
of unbounded hope." Janet Morley, Great Britain
"The external debt of developing countries has become an eternal debt." Archbishop Ndungane, Archbishop of Capetown, South Africa
"Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.
Nothing which is true or beautiful or good make complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint.
Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness." Reinhold Niebuhr, 1892-1971
"Must we starve our children to pay our debts?" Julius Nyerere, former President of Tanzania
"Debt relief is urgent .... and a precondition for the poorest countries to make progress in their fight against poverty. This is something which is now widely recognized. We have to ask, however, why progress in resolving the debt problem is still so slow. Why so many hesitations?" Pope John Paul II
"[I] beseech the rich countries to respond to the needs of AIDS patients in the poor countries with all means at their disposal, so that these men and women tested in body and soul may have access to the medicines which they need." Pope John Paul II, June 26, 2001
"Treat other people exactly as you would like to be treated by them - this is the essence of all true religion." J.B. Phillips
"I do believe that the United States should join with its allies in forgiving the debts of these poorest nations so they can make a fresh start in the world." The Rev. Pat Robertson
"The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
The magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete….
We cannot do everything
And there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
And do it very well." Oscar Romero
"AIDS destroys families, decimates communities and, particularly in the poorest areas of the world, threatens to destabilize the social, cultural, and economic fabric of entire nations...Where pain and suffering exist, we must provide comfort and solace. Where neglect and inequity prevail, we must bring compassion and justice." Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
"The church must participate with energy and commitment in Africa's reconstruction and development… faithful to continuing the mission of Christ, the church must also continue to raise the collective public conscience about the ethical choices that lie at the heart of the current global financial, trade and political systems." South African Council of Churches
"From now on, you are no longer alone. In all things you must take your brothers and sisters into account." The Rule of the Taize Community
"Unless we relieve the crushing burden of debt experienced in so much of the world, we will bequeath to our children in the 21st century a bitter legacy of injustice and suffering. Let's offer our children the gift of a promising future rather than prison chains from the past." The Rev. John H. Thomas, United Church of Christ President
"Goodness is stronger than evil; love is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death; victory is ours through Him who loves us." Desmond Tutu, 1931
"We ask our friends to stand by us in the new moral crusade to have the debt canceled following the biblical principle of Jubilee." Archbishop Desmond Tutu
"I've called for a long time for the cancellation of the crippling debt which we have had to bear for so long... this is the new moral crusade: to have the debt cancelled, following the Biblical principle of Jubilee. Basically this principle says that everything belongs to God; all debts must be cancelled … to give debtors a chance to make a new beginning."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
"He looks the whole world in the face for he owes not any man." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The issue is not what we will give to the poor. It is when will we stop taking from the poor?" Jim Wallis, Editor, Sojourners; Convener, Call to Renewal
"Anyone can love peace, but Jesus doesn't say, 'Blessed are the peace lovers.' He says peace makers. He is referring to a life vocation, not a hobby on the sidelines of life." Jim Wallis
"We are threads of all colors, gifted and free, creating for earth, a tapestry of justice." Ingrid Wolf
"Lord, replace my blindness with your vision, my deafness with your healing voice, my insensitivity with your understanding, my sinfulness with your love." Marian Wright Edelman
"Our incurring debt has not primarily been our fault, and hence 'forgiveness' is not what we are seeking, but justice." Zambian church leaders, 1998
"Debt is a faith issue for those of us who believe in a God of life."
A rabbi asked his students when was it dawn, so that they could distinguish the light from darkness for morning prayers. One student replied, "When I can distinguish a goat from a dog?" "No," answered the rabbi. Another student suggested, "When I can distinguish a palm tree from a fig tree?" "No," the rabbi replied again. "Well, then, what is the answer?" his students pressed him. "Only when you can look into the face of every man and every woman and see your brother and sister have you seen the light. All else is darkness."
A Native American elder tried to explain the attacks of September 11 to his grandson. The boy asked how he felt about this tragedy. " I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, healing, compassionate one."
"But grandfather, which wolf will win the fight for your heart?"
The old man replied, "The one that I feed."