Wallace D. Wattles published a very interesting viewpoint already in 1910 which certainly has some truth to it. I wonder why we still tend to help using old models of charity. I quote directly from his book “Science of getting rich”. You can get your copy of the book for free here:
“Do not talk about poverty, do not investigate it, or concern yourself with it. Never mind what its causes are; you have nothing to do with them.
What concerns you is the cure.
Do not spend your time in so-called charitable work or charity movements; most charity only tends to perpetuate the wretchedness it aims to eradicate. I do not say that you should be hard-hearted or unkind and refuse to hear the cry of need, but you must not try to eradicate poverty in any of the conventional ways. Put poverty behind you, and put all that pertains to it behind you, and “make good.”
Get rich. That is the best way you can help the poor.
And you cannot hold the mental image which is to make you rich if you fill your mind with pictures of poverty and all its attendant ills. Do not read books or papers which give circumstantial accounts of the wretchedness of the tenement dwellers, of the horrors of child labor, and so on. Do not read anything which fills your mind with gloomy images of want and suffering.
You cannot help the poor in the least by knowing about these things, and the wide-spread knowledge of them does not tend at all to do away with poverty.
What tends to do away with poverty is not the getting of pictures of poverty into your mind, but getting pictures of wealth, abundance, and possibility into the minds of the poor
You are not deserting the poor in their misery when you refuse to allow your mind to be filled with pictures of that misery.
Poverty can be done away with, not by increasing the number of well-to-do people who think about poverty, but by increasing the number of poor people who purpose with faith to get rich.
“The poor do not need charity; they need inspiration.”
The poor do not need charity; they need inspiration. Charity only sends them a loaf of bread to keep them alive in their wretchedness, or gives them an entertainment to make them forget for an hour or two. But inspiration can cause them to rise out of their misery. If you want to help the poor, demonstrate to them that they can become rich. Prove it by getting rich yourself.
Charity only sends them a loaf of bread to keep them alive in their wretchedness, or gives them an entertainment to make them forget for an hour or two. But inspiration can cause them to rise out of their misery. If you want to help the poor, demonstrate to them that they can become rich. Prove it by getting rich yourself.
The only way in which poverty will ever be banished from this world is by getting a large and constantly increasing number of people to practice the teachings of this book.
People must be taught to become rich by creation, not by competition.
Every person who becomes rich by competition knocks down the ladder by which he rises, and keeps others down, but every person who gets rich by creation opens a way for thousands to follow — and inspires them to do so.
You are not showing hardness of heart or an unfeeling disposition when you refuse to pity poverty, see poverty, read about poverty, or think or talk about it, or to listen to those who do talk about it. Use your will power to keep your mind OFF the subject of poverty and to keep it fixed with faith and purpose ON the vision of what you want and are creating.”
Conventional charity like soup kitchen, giving clothes and so on only brings momentarily relief but doesn’t change the future. These things are not wrong. They are good but they don’t break the cycle of poverty and don’t bring sustainable results. Mr Wattles solution is to get pictures of wealth, abundance and possibilities into the mind of the poor. They need inspiration. Inspiration can rise them out of their misery.
I was encouraged to find Wattles view point perfectly aligning with HOPE Recovered’s vision. In order to be successful and bring sustainable change in an underprivileged community, the people must
- deal with their past and leave it behind,
- find hope or inspiration so that they start dreaming again,
- and finally live with purpose to achieve their goals and dreams.
Their faith will keep them on track so that they will be able to overcome all the hardship and struggles that will come across their path of reaching their goals and dreams. For this a strong foundation is necessary. We at HOPE Recovered believe that this foundation can only be found in Jesus Christ. It is therefore a fundamental part of all our programs and activities.
In order to put this into practice and bring a sustainable change, HOPE Recovered is raising funds for a children and youth centre. Your support will not only bring a temporary relief but change the future of a child permanently.