Is poverty the root of all evil?

You are poor, then you are dishonest.

You don’t have money, you cannot be successful.

You are uneducated, so you are a hooligan.

Even in the 21st century these types of baseless statements can be heard from people who claim to be highly educated and sophisticated.  

Most people think, to be poor is to be a nuisance for the society, a barrier to development. They think poor people are a blotch of dirt on the otherwise gleaming metropolises of the modern world. Is it? Perhaps not. How?

The ‘blame the poor’ perspective is stereotypical and not universally applicable. Most poor people are able and willing to work hard. Access to quality education is the real problem that is faced. Also just being poor does not make them dishonest or evil.

Actually ‘the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil’. Many people think money itself is evil, but it isn’t.  It doesn’t matter if one is rich or poor, one may desire money in both situations. Rich people may desire money even more than poor people even though they have more of it because what they already have makes them obsessed with it and greedy for more. Poverty surely makes it worse, but I don’t believe it’s the primary driver of the problem. Money and poverty is a mindset. If you have a poverty mindset, you will be poor and if you have a wealth mindset, you will be wealthy. The way you earn money determines whether it is the root of all evil or not.

‘Poverty is as much the cause for the effect, as it is the effect for the cause’. Yes, poverty can become a reason for evil deeds but not the sole or the root reason. Poverty itself has its causes. It is a vicious cycle where the cause of poverty is the outcome of it.

It takes an intervention from governments, charity organizations or family members who are better off to step in and provide some kind of assistance (health, feeding, shelter and basic education) to get the youth to do some kind of economic activity to bring in some income. Without that, this cycle will continue for generations and it’s a trap that is extremely difficult to get out of. So the causes of poverty are much bigger reason for evil deeds than poverty itself.

The root of evil is evil itself. What I mean is the determination of a person to have his/her desires met, regardless of the consequences to others i.e. being indifferent and unyielding towards other’s justful demands. People who possess money and power can influence them. Now, if one has evil desires – for example to harm, exploit, cheat or control other beings then one might perform evil actions. Therefore in a way the root of all evil is human desire, not the instrument through which the desires are fulfilled. In the end, money is just a tool and like any other, it can be used for good or bad purposes; it is our mind manipulating the tool which determines whether it is good or bad. Desiring something isn’t bad, after all everyone wants to live a better life, but not at the cost of others.

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2 thoughts on “Is poverty the root of all evil?

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