What is poverty? It may sound like an odd question to ask. However, you might be surprised by our answer at Tearfund – it’s been hiding in plain sight in the pages of the Bible...
Imagine for a moment that you need to go to the GP. You have an uncomfortable, painful condition and it’s beginning to trouble you.
Your doctor says, ‘I know exactly what’s wrong’ without examining you or asking any questions. He or she immediately writes you a prescription. You’re not convinced they’ve made a correct diagnosis. As a result, you’re not sure the prescribed medication is going to work.
Asking the right questions
What has this short ‘thought experiment’ got to do with poverty? Simply, if you make a hasty diagnosis about what poverty is, you’re likely to offer a highly imperfect cure or even leave things in a worse state than when you started.
People can be incredibly generous if they think they can help make the world a better place. The question is, how can we do that effectively?
In the past, charities and governments have tried to end poverty around the world and nothing seemed to change – people, nations, stayed poor. So, as you can see, ‘what is poverty?’ is an important question to consider before you try to help set it right…