The Hidden Realities Of Poverty: Why Bragging About Morals Without Money Is Not Enough

By Steve Biko Wafula / Published May 8, 2023 | 9:54 am




KEY POINTS

The reality of poverty is that it often leads to difficult choices between doing what is right and doing what is necessary to survive. It is easy to judge someone's morality from afar, but until you walk in their shoes, you cannot fully understand the decisions they have to make.


Corruption

KEY TAKEAWAYS


The reality of poverty is that it is not just about having less money, but it also affects one's mental and emotional well-being. The stress and anxiety that come with financial struggles can make people susceptible to depression, which can lead to poor decision-making and self-destructive behavior.


Money is an essential tool for survival and fulfillment of desires, and often it plays a crucial role in shaping one’s morality. The proverb “Money talks, morals walk” rings true, especially for people living in poverty.

For young people, it is crucial to understand that the absence of financial resources can lead to immoral behavior, and those who boast about their morals without having money to finance their desires are not always as virtuous as they claim.

The reality of poverty is that it often leads to difficult choices between doing what is right and doing what is necessary to survive. It is easy to judge someone’s morality from afar, but until you walk in their shoes, you cannot fully understand the decisions they have to make.

For example, a single mother with no income may have to resort to stealing or prostitution to provide for her children. Her actions may be seen as immoral, but poverty has limited her choices, leaving her with no other options.

Related Content: The Power of Mindset: How Changing Attitudes Can Break The Cycle Of Poverty In Kenya And Beyond

Many people who are not wealthy have to struggle to make ends meet, and this can have a significant impact on their moral behavior. The lack of money and resources can lead to desperation, causing people to engage in criminal activities or indulge in vices like gambling, drugs, or alcoholism. In such cases, people may know what is right, but the temptation to do what is necessary to make ends meet is stronger.

The reality of poverty is that it is not just about having less money, but it also affects one’s mental and emotional well-being. The stress and anxiety that come with financial struggles can make people susceptible to depression, which can lead to poor decision-making and self-destructive behavior. In such situations, it can be challenging to maintain moral standards, especially when there is no support system to help cope with the challenges.

It is essential to note that poverty does not discriminate based on gender, race, or social status. Many men and women from different backgrounds have found themselves struggling with financial difficulties, which have led them to make difficult moral choices. For instance, the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” starring Will Smith tells the story of a struggling father who had to resort to sleeping in a public restroom with his son to save money. Although he knew it was not moral to expose his son to such living conditions, he had no other options.

Related Content: How Agricultural Modernization Can Help In Poverty Reduction

The reality of poverty is that it can sometimes push people to take risks and gamble in the hope of turning their financial fortunes around. The temptation to engage in get-rich-quick schemes can lead people to make immoral decisions, which often end in disaster. For example, the Enron scandal of 2001 was a result of greed and unethical behavior by executives who were trying to make a quick profit, leading to the collapse of the company and the loss of many jobs.

People who are struggling financially often face pressure from society to meet certain expectations. For instance, a young person from a poor background may feel the need to acquire designer clothes, expensive gadgets, or luxury cars to fit in with their peers. In such situations, the temptation to engage in immoral activities like fraud or theft to keep up with appearances can be high.

The reality of poverty is that it can often lead to a sense of hopelessness and loss of purpose. When people feel like they have nothing to lose, they may resort to immoral behavior to feel some sense of control or power. For instance, the famous criminal and bank robber, Bonnie Parker, who robbed banks during the Great Depression, did so because she felt like she had no other options in life.

Related Content: Addressing Energy Poverty and the Case for Coal in Africa

People living in poverty may also feel a sense of shame or embarrassment, leading them to hide their struggles from others. In such situations, they may engage in immoral activities to maintain their social status or reputation, even if it means going against their moral values. For example, a person may pretend to be wealthy and borrow money from others, even though they know they cannot pay it back. This behavior is often driven by a desire to maintain a certain image, which can lead to financial ruin and even criminal charges.

It is important to note that poverty does not always lead to immoral behavior. Many people who struggle financially maintain their moral values and make honest choices, despite the challenges they face. However, it is crucial to understand that poverty can increase the likelihood of making immoral decisions, and judging someone’s morality based solely on their financial situation is not always accurate.

Moreover, the statement “Until you have money to finance your temptations, don’t brag about morals” implies that people who have money are more virtuous than those who do not. This assertion is not always true, as wealth does not guarantee moral superiority. Many wealthy people engage in immoral behavior, such as tax evasion or fraud, to maintain their wealth and status.

On the other hand, there are many examples of people who have faced financial difficulties and still maintained their moral values. Mahatma Gandhi, for instance, faced severe financial struggles during his early years in South Africa, but he remained committed to his values of non-violence and justice. He did not compromise his principles, even when he faced imprisonment and other challenges.

Related Content: Digital Agriculture in Africa Holds the Key to Lifting 400m People Out of Poverty

The reality of poverty is that it can often lead to difficult moral choices. It is easy to judge someone’s morality based on their financial situation, but until you walk in their shoes, you cannot fully understand the challenges they face. People who brag about their morals without having the means to finance their desires may not always be as virtuous as they claim. Poverty can increase the likelihood of making immoral decisions, but it does not always lead to such behavior. It is essential to recognize that wealth does not guarantee moral superiority, and people from all walks of life can make ethical choices, regardless of their financial status.




About Steve Biko Wafula

Steve Biko is the CEO OF Soko Directory and the founder of Hidalgo Group of Companies. Steve is currently developing his career in law, finance, entrepreneurship and digital consultancy; and has been implementing consultancy assignments for client organizations comprising of trainings besides capacity building in entrepreneurial matters.He can be reached on: +254 20 510 1124 or Email: info@sokodirectory.com

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