Tuesday, October 14, 2008


What is poverty? There is no single, univerally accepted standard definition of poverty. Modern definitions of poverty have allegedly moved away from conceptions based on a lack of physical necessities towards a more social and relative understanding. The European Union's working definition of poverty is as follows:

"Persons, families and groups of persons whose resources (material, cultural and social) are so limited as to exclude them from the minimum acceptable way of life in the Member State to which they belong"

Another definition of poverty is deprivation and the denial of access to those things which make a life of dignity possible, including not only food, shelter and safe drinking water, but also the intangibles as the opportunity to learn, to engage in meaningful employment or to enjoy the respect of ones fellow. Being made redundant from your job and thrown onto the proverbial employment scrapheap could be construed as a form of poverty - poverty of the soul! I have been there, and done that friends.

Another is the quality or state of being poor or indigent, want or the scarcity of subsistence, indiginence, and need. And deficiency of elements or resources that are needed or desired, or that constitute richness,as poverty of soil, poverty of the blood and poverty of ideas. Acknowledgements to Wikipedia.com.

As I stated earlier, poverty is relative to the society you have lived and been brought up in. It can be in a third world African, Asian or some Pacific Island society or in the middle of some first world capital city.


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