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What is poverty?: Material lack or spiritual lack?

First we have to define what poverty is and then understand what differences, advantages or disadvantages they create in individual terms.

First we have to define what poverty is and then understand what differences, advantages or disadvantages they create in individual terms.

The concept of poverty has been used by many theorists, philosophers and thinkers, but above all by politicians, who have distorted the term by linking it to money, as the only expression of its lack, or of the material goods that someone could acquire. through this.

But it is that poverty goes much further, and we can speak in mental, emotional, or physical terms and for this we must refer to childhood where the character of an individual is molded, where values ​​are based, such as honor, honesty, moral, education at home, good customs and above all love expressed through protection.

To agree or disagree with philosophers, theorists or thinkers (let's not include politicians who only use the word poverty to manipulate human beings according to their ends) we must understand that the equality that John Rawls speaks of, for example, is not only monetary, material or class.

Equality or inequality is connected to patterns that often have nothing to do with the material.

For many money is wealth, but for others wealth is love.

Who has money and does not have love, is poor in feelings and is often at a disadvantage, but this side of the coin is not seen or analyzed by those who fight for equality.

A son of a high-ranking businessman who travels constantly and whose mother is a fashion designer and never shares with him, will grow up alone, with fear and uncertainty simply because he has not received the love that gives him self-confidence. He has money but he doesn't have the love and protection of his parents. Does he have advantages or disadvantages?

Steve Jobs, for example, died saying that he had all the money in the world to hire, rent or buy (Job's own anecdotal words) any nurse or person who would take care of him, but unfortunately he did not have time, he was healthy. He was in poor health and those privileges that we are talking about today as we debate Rawls's theory, were of no use to him.

Jobs, with all his money, he had no advantage over me, for example, that he may not have the money, but I have the love, health and home education necessary to achieve what he proposes to me.


What are we talking about? What is the position we should adopt in the face of this dilemma? Because let's see, I should be at a disadvantage compared to my classmates, if I want to seek a high grade, since English is not my mother tongue, and that is why I must feel self-conscious. Well, it's not like that. I don't feel disadvantaged.

Should we bother because providence endowed Michael Jordan with a talent? Perhaps to do justice and create equality as Rawls says, should we put iron balls on Jordan's ankles to create a hypothetical equality?

Or even less put springs in the feet of the new generations, so that they catch up with Jordan's talent and thus there is no inequality?

What is is. All human beings have a talent, the work and effort will be in discovering and developing it. (Meritocracy)

“Economic constraints should not be confused with poverty, doing so is wrong. Human beings are not the same and we will never have the same levels of spiritual or material wealth.”

Essay Raul Alberto Diaz

Justice Course

Harvard University Online.

October 11, 2022

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