There is an interesting piece on the following link (Baha’i International Community message delivered at this year’s United Nations Commission on Social Development) which provides a more satisfying perspective on poverty than can be found in the usual slogans: for the full story see link.
Initiatives to address poverty should give attention to strengthening the moral, ethical and spiritual capacities of individuals and communities.
That was among the messages delivered by the Baha’i International Community and other non-governmental organizations at this year’s United Nations Commission on Social Development.
“Efforts to eradicate poverty must be guided by a vision of human prosperity in the fullest sense of the term – a dynamic coherence between the material and spiritual dimensions of human life,” said May Akale, a representative of the Baha’i International Community, in an oral statement to the Commission on Monday 14 February.
“Poverty, as has often been stated, is not merely the lack of material resources, but also the absence of those ethical and social resources that create an environment in which individuals, through social institutions and communities, can develop to their fullest capacity,” said Ms. Akale.
Such efforts at capacity building should stress helping individuals “cultivate the capacities to become protagonists of their development.”
This is especially so where it concerns the next generation, she said. “Of particular concern in seeking to develop these capacities are the many influences at work on the hearts and minds of children and youth.”
“It is important to appreciate the extent to which young minds are affected by the choices of their families and communities. No matter how unintentional, choices which condone deficient ethical norms, such as the admiration for power, the seeking of status, the glorification of violence and pre-occupation with self-gratification, exercise a profound influence on young minds.”