The word poor can be unclear because it has two definitions. It means “having little money or few possessions.” It also means “not good in quality or condition.” We use the first definition in this website – not the second. We operate under the philosophy that every human is of immeasurable worth.
A further definition of poor means “not having enough money for the basic things that people need to live properly.” That is the definition that arouses our compassion. It is the basis for our welfare programs and our charities. It is what Mother Teresa worked on all her life. She once said:
“We know what that poverty means, first of all, to be hungry for bread, to need clothing, and to not have a home. But there is a far greater kind of poverty. It means being unwanted, unloved, and neglected. It means having no one to call your own.”
Our welfare programs try and address “bread, clothing and home” but they don’t address “unwanted, unloved and neglected.” For that we need caring individuals. When we look for government to be the solution to poverty we should expect to come up short. It is going to take a personal touch to solve U.S. poverty. Mother Teresa can teach us that.