Minute 56:56

When we recognize these acts of courage, we then necessarily recognize our own responsibilities as citizens, and as part of the human family to get involved, and to get engaged, and to take a stand to vote, to pay attention.

I hope that current members of Congress recall that it actually doesn’t take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential. But it does require some courage to champion the vulnerable, and the sick, and the infirm; those who often have no access to the corridors of power. I hope they understand that courage means not simply doing what is politically expedient, but doing what they believe deep in their hearts, is right. And this kind of courage is required from all of us. Those of us who consider ourselves progressives, those of us who are democrats, we’ve got some soul searching to do to see what kind of courage we show; we have our own dogmas. Those of us not in elected office, have to show some courage. We’re prone to bestow the mantle of courage too easily on the prominent and the powerful , and then too eager to wrap ourselves in cynicism when they let us down when they weren’t perfect. We lose sight sometimes of our own obligations – each of ours. All the quiet acts of courage that unfold around us every single day, ordinary Americans, who give something of themselves not for personal gain, but for the enduring benefit of another.

Barack Obama

The people who are changing the world are not the powerful, but very often the poor people. It’s the power of generosity and justice. Not the power of money. The power is pure heart, and pure heart is when you serve the poor, you educate your heart, and when you serve the poor and educate your heart, this is the power of faith. Don’t think that the people who are going to change this world are the more powerful. If you serve him (the poor man) you serve me (God), and you serve me – you can change the world. the rich people might push you to serve them. If you serve somebody who has nothing, it means that you might be close to God. Change the way you look, so that it’s coming from your heart. When you deal with the poor, you understand that the poor people, the people who are marginalized, are treated by power and authority which is not acceptable sometimes. Every single human being has the same dignity. You can’t accept any situation where there is a lack of dignity. Go and change the world.

Tariq Ramadan

Minute 32:02

Minute 4:23

Poverty is passed on. It’s taught in your families. And “middle class” is taught in families. And so the people right now who are struggling financially or worried about money, or unhappy with what they’re doing, it was probably taught to you. Your super-ego was taught: get a job, work hard, or you’ll never be rich, or “the rich are evil”, or whatever… Until you change your mindset, money won’t help you. And we see that with people that win the lottery. People that make more money, they still have the same problems, because they have that poor man’s soul… If you’re poor, you’ll always be poor. That’s really hard for people to understand. The money will disappear that fast… Just like most pro athletes. They make millions of dollars, and what, 65% are bankrupt five years later – it’s because they come from poorer families. Now you tell them that, they get very angry at you. “It’s the rich’s fault”, “you guys ripped me off”, and “the government ripped me off”.

Robert Kiyosaki

The overpopulation seems to grow out of the quest of the oligarch to find a way to define other people as sub-human or non-human. If you look around, say Italy, and you look at sculpture and things you can find out in public squares – you’ll see the oldest oligarchical trick in the book: humans and beasts. Humans and animals. Creatures part-human, part-animal. A very dangerous combination. The oligarch attempts to say that the common run of mankind is really an animal. But the oligarch, the people of wealth, family – these are inherently superior. So that the answer to the problem that this creates, tends to be the extermination of the poor, the useless eaters, the lower classes, the inferior, racial minorities of course are always a favorite (obvious) target. We can trace this back 3000 years. Three millennia, that the world is overpopulated, and that technology is not available. So the oligarch says: if there are not enough hats, the answer is not to produce more hats but to cut off heads. And that’s what you see.

The abolition of welfare was the worst thing Clinton did, and there were people who resigned from his administration based on this treacherous act that he carried out. The abolition of welfare has created a permanent class of paupers. And these paupers are in extreme poverty.

Webster Tarpley

Minute 00:01 – minute 2:25

A series of statistics published about the degree of poverty that you find in these strata. You’re talking about a family of four living under less than $12,000 a year. This is just unspeakable. It’s not clear how anybody can do this. The cost is going to be seen in cognitive impairment of children who have been denied sufficient protein in their diets when they’re very young. That is barbarism, and it cannot be allowed, and there is no economic argument that can justify that. […] They don’t have medical insurance.

Minute 42:50

When you go study homelessness, there are lots of causes of homelessness. Mental incapacity issues are a very hard-to-cure problem. Serious drug addiction – a very hard-to-cure problem. But there’s another bucket of homelessness which is transient homelessness, which is: a woman with kids, the father runs away, and he was the only person providing any income, and they have no support system – they have no family. That’s transient homelessness. You can really help that person. And you, by the way, only need to help them for 6 – 9 months, you get them trained, you get them a job. They’re perfectly productive members of society. 

Jeff Bezos

Other Inspirations?

There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don't expect you to save the world I do think it's not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.
Nikki Giovanni
If we are not talking about adjusting policies, then we are not talking about eliminating poverty.
Wes Moore
CEO of Robin Hood
The United States spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq while the United Nations estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitations services and basic education to every person on the planet.
John Perkins
The United Nations estimates, in the last fifty years, poverty has been reduced more than in the preceding 500 years. Most of that reduction has taken place in the last twenty.
Fareed Zakaria
Commencement Speech, Harvard University, 2012
There's so many good things going on in the world right now. Between the year 2000 and 2012, the level of absolute poverty in the world was cut by 50%. That was the fastest rate of improvement by a large margin in human history, it was three years faster than most optimistic projections had suggested. There's hundreds of thousands of people a week now being pulled into the electrical power grid. Almost everyone has access to almost infinite computational power and all the educational resources that go along with that. We're wiping out most transmissible diseases. The fastest growing economies in the world are in Sub-Saharan Africa. There's no starvation in China. There's a huge middle class in China and India. These things are absolutely miraculous. And God only knows what we could accomplish if we got our act together in the next twenty years. The sky's the limit.
Jordan Peterson
Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.
If you really want to transform people out of poverty, you've got to create basic needs (food, shelter, eye sight, shoes, education) and then you gotta create jobs.
Poverty alleviation, it's really education and jobs. And we really try to focus on that.
One by one, people will investigate the Truth and put it into operation, and the time will come when disease and poverty will be swept from the face of the earth, for they were never intended to be. They are simply the by-products of ignorance, and enlightenment alone will erase them.
Ernest Holmes
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.
Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist
We all know there is a cure for poverty. It's a rudimentary one. It does work though. It works everywhere, for the same reason. It's colloquially called the "empowerment of women". It's the only thing that does work. If you allow women some control over their cycle of reproduction, so that they're not chained by their husbands or by village custom to annual animal type pregnancies, early death, disease, and so on; If you will free them from that, give them some basic health of that sort, and if you're generous enough to throw in perhaps a handful of seeds and a bit of credit, the whole floor - culturally, socially, medically, economically, of that village will rise. It works every time.
Christopher Hitchens
If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be open-handed and freely lend them whatever they need. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.
Herman Melville
American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period
It is easy enough to tell the poor to accept their poverty as God's will when you yourself have warm clothes and plenty of food and medical care and a roof over your head and no worry about the rent. But if you want them to believe you—try to share some of their poverty and see if you can accept it as God's will yourself!
Thomas Merton
We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.
Mother Theresa
Extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere.
Kofi Annan
Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations
And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully.
the central religious text of Islam
Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied...but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which as beggar is a reminder of nothing.
John Berger
English art critic, novelist, painter and poet
Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime
Greek philosopher
Poverty is the worst form of violence.
Mahatma Gandhi
Indian political and spiritual leader
Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn't commit.
Eli Khamarov
In a country well-governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.
Chinese philosopher
History is written by the rich, and so the poor get blamed for everything.
Jeffrey D. Sachs
The Bible insists that the best test of a nation's righteousness is how it treats the poorest and most vulnerable in its midst.
Jim Wallis
Christian writer and social activist
Failures are divided into two classes — those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.
John Charles Salak
Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… These are one and the same fight.
Ban Ki-moon
Eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations
I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.
Bill Gates
business magnate and philanthropist
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.
Edmund Burke
author and philosopher
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
Albert Einstein
theoretical physicist
Americans are blessed with great plenty; we are a generous people and we have a moral obligation to assist those who are suffering from poverty, disease, war and famine.
Adam Schiff
U.S. representative
They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend. Say, 'Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.
Surat Al-Baqarah
The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
Franklin D
As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest.
Nelson Mandela
There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.
Mahatma Gandhi
Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
Muhammad Ali
If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
John F. Kennedy
Poverty does not belong in civilized human society. Its proper place is in a museum.
Muhammad Yunus
Child labor and poverty are inevitably bound together and if you continue to use the labor of children as the treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labor to the end of time.
Grace Abbott
social worker
Where you live should not determine whether you live, or whether you die.
singer-songwriter and philanthropist
It is a common condition of being poor... you are always afraid that the good things in your life are temporary, that someone can take them away, because you have no power beyond your own brute strength to stop them.
Rick Bragg
It would be nice if the poor were to get even half of the money that is spent in studying them.
William E. Vaughn
Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.
Nelson Mandela
Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.
It is the great privilege of poverty to be happy and yet unenvied, to be healthy with physique, secure without a guard, and to obtain from the bounty of nature what the great and wealthy are compelled to procure by the help of art.”
President Johnson
Do not ask the name of the person who seeks a bed for the night. He who is reluctant to give his name is the one who most needs shelter.
The Poor Man whom everyone speaks of, the Poor Man whom everyone pities, one of the repulsive Poor from whom ''charitable'' souls keep their distance, he has still said nothing. Or, rather, he has spoken through the voice of Victor Hugo, Zola, Richepin. At least, they said so. And these shameful impostures fed their authors. Cruel irony, the Poor Man tormented with hunger feeds those who plead his case.
Albert Camus
The greatest evils and the worst of crimes is poverty; our first duty, a duty to which every other consideration should be sacrificed, is not to be poor.
The greatest man in history was the poorest.
Food, clothing, firing, rent, taxes, respectability and children. Nothing can lift those seven millstones from Man's neck but money; and the spirit cannot soar until the millstones are lifted.
For every talent that poverty has stimulated it has blighted a hundred.
Whoever shuts his ears at the cry of the poor, they also shall cry themselves, but not be heard.
And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of the estate and speak to them words of appropriate kindness.
Surat An-Nisa
Only in relationship can you know yourself, not in abstraction and certainly not in isolation. The movement of behavior is the sure guide to yourself. It's the mirror of your consciousness: this mirror will reveal its content, the images, the attachments, the fears, the loneliness, the joys and sorrow. Poverty lies in running away from this, either in its sublimations or its identities.
There is a noble manner of being poor, and who does not know it will never be rich.
What power can poverty have over a home where loving hearts are beating with a consciousness of untold riches of the head and heart?
Orison Swett Marden
Whoever mocks the poor insults his maker; and he that is glad at calamities shall not go unpunished.
Every day, I'm standing outside trying to sing my way in: "We are hungry, please let us in. We are hungry, please let us in". After about a week that song is gonna change to: "We hungry, we need some food". After two, three weeks, it's like: "Give me the food or I'm breaking down the door". After a year you're just like, "I'm picking the lock coming through the door blasting!"
Tupac Shakur
Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.
Surat Al-Baqarah
We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.
Poverty is not created by poor people . . . Seeds of poverty are not in the person; seeds of poverty are in the system.
Muhammad Yunus
Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.
John Wesley
Poverty is uncomfortable; but 9 times out of 10 the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed overboard and be compelled to sink or swim.
In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young - they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds.
Five and six-year old children are inheritors of poverty's curse and not its creators. Unless we act, these children will pass it on to the next generation.
President Lyndon Johnson
Poverty of goods is easily cured; poverty of the mind is irreparable.
Civil rights leaders are involved in helping poor people. That's what I've been doing all my life.
The burden of poverty isn't just that you don't always have the things you need, it's the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you'd do anything to lift that burden.
There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.
Victor Hugo
If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.
Charles Darwin
If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones.
John Steinbeck
It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Once poverty is gone, we'll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations. They'll wonder why poverty continued so long in human society - how a few people could live in luxury while billions dwelt in misery, deprivation and despair.
Muhammad Yunus
Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor, — all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked, — who is good? Not that men are ignorant, — what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.
W. E. B. DuBois
True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity. False charity constrains the fearful and subdued, the "rejects of life," to extend their trembling hands. True generosity lies in striving so that these hands--whether of individuals or entire peoples--need be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work and, working, transform the world.
Paulo Freire
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.
Kurt Vonnegut
When someone steals another's clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money which you hoard up belongs to the poor.
Basil the Great
It takes nothing to stay in poverty, but everything to break free from it.
Idowu Koyenikan
Childhood, after all, is the first precious coin that poverty steals from a child.
Anthony Horowitz
People are wrong when they think that an unemployed man only worries about losing his wages; on the contrary, an illiterate man, with the work habit in his bones, needs work even more than he needs money. An educated man can put up with enforced idleness, which is one of the worst evils of poverty. But a man like Paddy, with no means of filling up time, is as miserable out of work as a dog on the chain. That is why it is such nonsense to pretend that those who have 'come down in the world' are to be pitied above all others. The man who really merits pity is the man who has been down from the start, and faces poverty with a blank, resourceless mind.
George Orwell
Fear of the mob is a superstitious fear. It is based on the idea that there is some mysterious, fundamental difference between rich and poor, as though they were two different races, like Negroes and white men. But in reality there is no such difference. The mass of the rich and the poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothing else, and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit. Change places, and handy dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Everyone who has mixed on equal terms with the poor knows this quite well. But the trouble is that intelligent, cultivated people, the very people who might be expected to have liberal opinions, never do mix with the poor. For what do the majority of educated people know about poverty?
George Orwell
If you go out into the real world, you cannot miss seeing that the poor are poor not because they are untrained or illiterate but because they cannot retain the returns of their labor. They have no control over capital, and it is the ability to control capital that gives people the power to rise out of poverty.
Muhammad Yunus
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. What we do is less than a drop in the ocean. But if it were missing, the ocean would lack something. Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.
Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
"[Charity is] for the poor who have been restricted for the cause of Allah , unable to move about in the land. An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint, but you will know them by their [characteristic] sign. They do not ask people persistently [or at all]. And whatever you spend of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it."
Surat Al-Baqarah
One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.
"Charity begins at home": You should take care of your family and other people who live close to you before helping people who are living further away or in another country.
The issue of poverty is not a statistical issue. It is a human issue.
James Wolfensohn
A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.
Henrik Ibsen
Poverty is the obvious thing that limits the exploitation of human potential.
Malcolm Gladwell
The kinder and more intelligent a person is, the more kindness he can find in other people. Kindness enriches our life; with kindness mysterious things become clear, difficult things become easy and dull things become cheerful.
Leo Tolstoy
The rising generation has the power to ensure the elimination of poverty from this planet. We overcame slavery, we overcame apartheid, we put human beings on the moon -- all achievements that were once considered impossible. We can overcome poverty, if we only decide that poverty does not belong to the future that we want to create.

Muhammad Yunus
Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.
James Baldwin
Ignorance of each other is what has made unity impossible in the past. Therefore, we need enlightenment. We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity. Once we have more knowledge (light) about each other, we will stop condemning each other and a united front will be brought about.
Malcolm X​
Of course, when people are hurting because of unemployment, government help to relieve them is necessary and important. But immediately after that, the much higher responsibility of society -- and of the state that represents it -- is to help people escape dependence on the state as soon as possible. Dependence diminishes human beings.
Muhammad Yunus​
There are many boys, and men too, who, like Micky Maguire, have never had a fair chance in life. Let us remember that when we judge them, and not be too hasty to condemn.
Horatio Alger Jr
Overcoming poverty is an essential aspect of ensuring peace among the people.
Muhammad Yunus​
We all have support networks. We all have family and friends and a job and things that support us when we trip. These (homeless people) are people who have burned through those support networks. And that's the only difference... I think we were surprised by how upfront people (the homeless) were. And how honest they were. And how they seem to appreciate you just talking to them like a regular person... So many people walk by homeless people all the time. I've done it. You pretend you don't see them. There's a homeless guy who camps right outside my house actually. And it was interesting, because I noticed before - he really annoyed me (his pan-handling, etc), and after this story, I asked him his name, I say hello to him, I talk to him. Before the story, I just ignored him. I just pretended he wasn't there. And after the story I was like, this is ridiculous. This is my issue. Me pretending not to see this person is insane. And offensive. And it humanizes people - anytime you stop and talk to somebody, and you learn about them; you will start to walk in their shoes a little bit, and you see things through a different lens.
Anderson Cooper
From a religious perspective, loving one another is the highest commandment. From a spiritual perspective, loving one another is the wisdom of the ages. From a political perspective, loving one another is just the smartest thing to do. Plus, today it’s the only survivable option.
Marianne Williamson