Thursday, October 16, 2008

Poverty is a state of mind. Discuss.

I read on the internet that yesterday was blog action day on poverty. I have rather missed the boat on that, but perhaps I can put in my tuppence ha’penny worth now. And be a bit controversial!

So. Poverty is a state of mind. Is it? If you live in somewhere like Africa during a time of famine, then no, it is real and there is not a lot you can do about it. However if you are lucky enough to live in the first world, then surely there is the opportunity for us all to escape poverty. I would suggest that one of the main thing which prevents this is your state of mind.

Everyone has in them the potential to do well. Everyone. I believe that the two great catalysts for this are belief in yourself and education. Assuming you live in the UK (this is a British blog) education is available to us all. There are evening classes, the open university, or just libraries where you can read books for free or use the internet. If you can’t read, there are classses where you can learn. With education will (hopefully) come belief in yourself and self worth.

Don’t believe negative things that people say about you. For example, many, many women have no ambition in life because they were told repeatedly when they were a child that they were stupid, only fit for marriage, and that their brothers were more important than them. But that’s not true! I believe that everyone has something they are good at or have the potential to be good at. If you think this isn’t true of you, then this just means you haven’t found out yet what that thing is.

Believing in yourself is very important. It carries you forward when other people might drop back. It propels you on to work at something when perhaps it might be easier not to. If you truly believe in yourself, work hard, and are not stupid, then you should eventually get somehwere. (Out of poverty at any rate)

Not being stupid is important though. I don’t think success depends on being very, very clever – just being sensible. And also I think, not being greedy. Many of the problems we have today are down to people being greedy. As we are now finding out.

An example of how important belief is. Two years ago everyone believed in the financial system, so loans were made, and everything ran well. Now people have lost their belief in the system to such an extent that the banks are not even lending money to each other. The difference is a collective state of mind.

So, is poverty a state of mind? Perhaps not, but staying in poverty is, in many cases because of a state of mind. Change the mindset and you have a good chance of changing your life. My recipe for success therefore (moderate success that is, not becoming a millionaire) is education, self belief /self worth, hard work, not being stupid about things, and not being greedy. Try it and see!

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