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Poor or Rich? It's a State of Mind

Updated on August 24, 2012

I'd like to borrow the following popular poem written by Walter D. Wintle and which is among my favorites;

"It’s All In A State Of Mind

If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It’s almost a “cinch” you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,
For out in the world you find
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind.


Full many a race is lost
Ere ever a step is run;
And many a coward fails
Ere ever his work’s begun.
Think big and your deeds will grow,
Think small and you’ll fall behind,
Think that you can and you will;
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later, the man who wins,
Is the fellow who thinks he can."

-Walter D. Wintle



Poverty, mendicancy or beggary in any form is rampant not only in the third world countries but also creeping gradually and surely in developed countries. Global survey shows that the fast development of sophisticated technology in communication and production, travel and education, among others cannot actually cope with the faster increase in poverty in the global level.

While some people in different areas of the globe enjoy wealth and the modern technology, most people function in their daily lives with the dominating thoughts of lack. They worry about their finances and their future and worse, the masses do not only worry but get accustomed to living their deprived lives.

There is an ongoing debate on whether poverty is a state of mind or a critically real situation in the global level. Actually, if we scrutinize the contention of both sides, we can see that there is really no basis for this argument because both of them are correct, the only question is;

"In terms of poverty which comes first, the critically real situation or the state of mind?"


As far as I am concerned, I can only answer this in the personal level and wish that if only the whole of humanity can change their way of thinking and outlook in life then poverty could be minimized.

Let's survey what flow of thinking or mental attitude or state of mind that the poor or even the working class inflict themselves. See if any of these are familiar thoughts or common contents of every day conversations;

"I had been working hard but my income barely meets the basic needs of my family and to pay the bills."

"If only I have enough money..."

"There's just not enough money to meet all my needs, how much less to get all I want."

"Rich people are arrogant."

"The government does not care for its people."

"Money is for the greedy."

"I am just born unlucky."

"If I am kicked out from my job then I don't know what to do."

"There's just nothing for me in this life."

"Money is difficult to find, quick to spend."

"I am always in financial difficulty."


The list could go on and on. When this kind of thinking dominates one's mind in all the days of his life then he will never see the abundance around, much less experience a life of riches.

This state of mind makes one poorer and poorer; it invites all the misfortunes to one's life not only in terms of monetary difficulty but most of all, this kind of thinking will result to more discords and chaos in his relationships, job situations and everything where money has a great role for happiness. This is the root of poor outlook in life and therefore results to a of life suffering in all areas.

If we observe enough, there are more people who possess this kind of mentality; some are aware of it but most people don't even realize that they are having this state of mind.

How many of us realize that when poverty knocks or even experiencing being consistently broke is a warning or an alert to survey what we keep within as dominating thoughts that pull us down gradually?

Thoughts and convictions are contagious because man's nature is suggestible whether in words or deeds hence when we mingle or socialize with people with such "poverty orientation" then sooner or later everyone gets poor eventually.

Wonder why there is an increasing number of people globally who gets poorer and poorer? It's because poverty orientation is a social disease. Society, from the top politicians down to the street beggars are inflicted with this "poverty orientation". Why would a so-called successful politician get corrupted to the point that his life becomes miserable? If only each of us can ponder on these. Even those who advocate abundance are being criticized because they cannot be understood.











The truth is there is abundance of everything in this life but only those who are in the right state of mind and having a merry heart are visited by the "Goddess of Fortune."

The "Goddess of Fortune" cannot resist happiness, joy, peace, faith and love. These are things to ponder and to base our dominating thoughts in our every day life.

How rich are you?

Money? Skill? Job? Friends? Wholesome relationships with family, spouse, friends, colleagues, public?

All these invite the natural riches that are inherent in us. Just keep your state of mind be in accord with the Universal Laws.

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    • Jynzly profile image
      Author

      Jenny Pugh 5 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

      Hi epigramman,

      I am so touched by your comment. But tell you what; only a person with such qualities to describe me can appreciate me or what I say and do. More power to you. Thank you for being such an intellectual observer that you are. Blessings.

    • Jynzly profile image
      Author

      Jenny Pugh 5 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

      Hi epigramman,

      I am so touched by your comment. But tell you what; only a person with such qualities to describe me can appreciate me or what I say and do. More power to you. Thank you for being such an intellectual observer that you are. Blessings.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      ...well as a writer you are a great philosopher and as a philosopher you are a great writer - such a wise soul you are and I am moved by your words - you are a thinker and that makes me think too - thank you for inspiring this humble man with your words and thoughts - sending you warm wishes and good thoughts from lake erie time ontario canada on a cold and snowy night at 11:05pm

    • Jynzly profile image
      Author

      Jenny Pugh 5 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

      Globetrekkermel ,

      Thanks in advance...hehe.

    • Jynzly profile image
      Author

      Jenny Pugh 5 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

      Globetrekkermel ,

      Thanks in advance...hehe.

    • Globetrekkermel profile image

      Globetrekkermel 5 years ago from CALIFORNIA

      Great! Will keep an eye for it.

    • Jynzly profile image
      Author

      Jenny Pugh 5 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

      Globetrekkermel ,

      I am actually writing right now in my own website, it's jennylamurin.com I will be writing soon in HubPages.

    • Jynzly profile image
      Author

      Jenny Pugh 5 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

      Globetrekkermel ,

      I am actually writing right now in my own website, it's jennylamurin.com I will be writing soon in HubPages.

    • Globetrekkermel profile image

      Globetrekkermel 5 years ago from CALIFORNIA

      when are you going to write your next article? I have been having writer's block lately.Just cannot get the flow going.LOL!!!

    • Jynzly profile image
      Author

      Jenny Pugh 5 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

      Globetrekkermel,

      Hi Globe...nice to hear...I am not actually suggesting; just showing some possibility, it's just a matter of knowing, choosing and decision making. These are all mental processes...a state of mind.

    • Jynzly profile image
      Author

      Jenny Pugh 5 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

      Globetrekkermel,

      Hi Globe...nice to hear...I am not actually suggesting; just showing some possibility, it's just a matter of knowing, choosing and decision making. These are all mental processes...a state of mind.

    • Globetrekkermel profile image

      Globetrekkermel 5 years ago from CALIFORNIA

      Jynzly,

      Not bad at all. It is like living in a time warp but I'll take that anytime.LOL!

    • Jynzly profile image
      Author

      Jenny Pugh 5 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

      Globetrekkermel ,

      Hi Globe, nice to hear from you once more. Yes, I can point you to a definite place called kilometer 10, Pagatpat, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, Philippines.

      I will give you a concrete scenario on how you are going to live there with your $350/per month, assuming you have a wife and two growing up children age 7 and 10.

      Given you already had purchased a house and lot worth P100,000 or approximately U.S. $2,500. This is a realistic estimate.

      To give you a bird's eye view where this place is; as the address implies, Pagatpat is located 10 kilometers away from one of the top five progressive cities in Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro City. It has everything any big cities in the Philippines has except for the centralized entertainment productions in Manila. It has huge malls, universities, banks, hotels and a five star hotel on top of the hill the hill that overlooks the whole city, modern bridges, modern and upscale subdivisions and townhouses, big modern seaport, airport, etc. It's a beautiful city and relatively the most peaceful, safe and violence-free city in Mindanao.

      Okay, going back to living in Pagatpat with such a monthly income. Food there is very cheap and fresh since there is farm production and irrigation system there for rice. Most residents there are subsistence farmers producing rice, vegetables mangos, coconuts and some other ready to liquidate into cash farm products and household crafts. Hence, as far as food is concerned your whole family can spend a hundred dollars per month for healthy food. The only bills are electricity and water, well water is actually free unless you will have it in your home where its flat rate of P50 or $1.10 a month. Even electricity is flat rate at P150 or $3/ month, approximately. School for your two young kids is free. The rest of your money will be all up to you...you may save or invest it with some farmers in their farm or spend it with little luxury. Going to the city means commuting in a jeepney that is P20 or maybe P30 now a days and that is if you have no car. This is just an approximated calculation that is closest to reality in that place. Why won't I know all these? Cagayan de Oro City is my nativity; my Dad had a 120-hectare farm in Mambuaya called Chili Valley Farm with 22 tenants; Mambuaya is 20 kilometers away from the city on another route. My cousin is still living in Pagatpat until now, she has a little coconut plantation there and a rice paddy farm...See? Being rich is an outward material expression of a rich state of mind...it's just around the corner.

    • Jynzly profile image
      Author

      Jenny Pugh 5 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

      Globetrekkermel ,

      Hi Globe, nice to hear from you once more. Yes, I can point you to a definite place called kilometer 10, Pagatpat, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, Philippines.

      I will give you a concrete scenario on how you are going to live there with your $350/per month, assuming you have a wife and two growing up children age 7 and 10.

      Given you already had purchased a house and lot worth P100,000 or approximately U.S. $2,500. This is a realistic estimate.

      To give you a bird's eye view where this place is; as the address implies, Pagatpat is located 10 kilometers away from one of the top five progressive cities in Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro City. It has everything any big cities in the Philippines has except for the centralized entertainment productions in Manila. It has huge malls, universities, banks, hotels and a five star hotel on top of the hill the hill that overlooks the whole city, modern bridges, modern and upscale subdivisions and townhouses, big modern seaport, airport, etc. It's a beautiful city and relatively the most peaceful, safe and violence-free city in Mindanao.

      Okay, going back to living in Pagatpat with such a monthly income. Food there is very cheap and fresh since there is farm production and irrigation system there for rice. Most residents there are subsistence farmers producing rice, vegetables mangos, coconuts and some other ready to liquidate into cash farm products and household crafts. Hence, as far as food is concerned your whole family can spend a hundred dollars per month for healthy food. The only bills are electricity and water, well water is actually free unless you will have it in your home where its flat rate of P50 or $1.10 a month. Even electricity is flat rate at P150 or $3/ month, approximately. School for your two young kids is free. The rest of your money will be all up to you...you may save or invest it with some farmers in their farm or spend it with little luxury. Going to the city means commuting in a jeepney that is P20 or maybe P30 now a days and that is if you have no car. This is just an approximated calculation that is closest to reality in that place. Why won't I know all these? Cagayan de Oro City is my nativity; my Dad had a 120-hectare farm in Mambuaya called Chili Valley Farm with 22 tenants; Mambuaya is 20 kilometers away from the city on another route. My cousin is still living in Pagatpat until now, she has a little coconut plantation there and a rice paddy farm...See? Being rich is an outward material expression of a rich state of mind...it's just around the corner.

    • Globetrekkermel profile image

      Globetrekkermel 5 years ago from CALIFORNIA

      Wow! Jynzly,Are you kidding me? $350 can really a long way in Mindanao even these days? Which part of Mindanao is that? I think I am living in the wrong place!Ha ha ha !I should be moving there. That's a dream place if you can live comfortably for that amount?!LOL!!! I miss the old days when everything was very affordable.

    • Jynzly profile image
      Author

      Jenny Pugh 5 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

      Globetrekkermel,

      I fully agree with you Globe... some people with a family of four members and living in Mindanao, Philippines that receive an income of P15,000/month or say $350/ month regularly for a long time would feel or think they are "rich" because they have a stable income. They can compare themselves to the majority who most often cannot eat regularly, much less go to school, especially with a family of 9 growing kids whose ages range from 3 months to 12 years old.

      Everything is relative, standard of living, inflation rate, population, employment rate minimum wage, currency, to name a few. Living a life of luxury such as having a car and owning a house and yet feeling and thinking poor is caused by being in a rich country where majority of the population are having a high standard of living. What may be rich to one is poor to another.

      The state of mind is influenced by a given society, culture, socio-demographic-economic and environmental factors; yet a state of mind is universal by nature. One can become the richest person in a given location and society because of his "abundance-oriented" mentality. Being rich does not necessarily have to compare with others especially with those in a different society or country.

    • Globetrekkermel profile image

      Globetrekkermel 5 years ago from CALIFORNIA

      I am no authority to dissect the root cause or causes of poverty as I do not have sufficient knowledge on the subject as a course of study but I agree on the premise that poverty can be a state of mind.However, poverty cannot be only solved through having to change your thoughts or your state of mind.There are several factors that contribute to poverty .It include social factors, geopolitical factors(one clear example is the Philippines) or even religious factors- Poverty is one of the vows taken by Men of God.People also have different interpretations on the scale of poverty level and so are governments of western countries.The USA's poverty income level is $20,000 a year or less, in Europe it is around 10,000 euros / year at the lowest level.These incomes are pretty decent incomes if applied in the third world countries .I met an expat couple, a couple months ago when I was in Malaysia and they can live on $800 a month in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.Try living $800 a month in my city in California. That will not even cover rent. Compare these incomes to countries like Bangladesh or Bhutan or Myanmar (Burma) where the average income is about $3-5 a day. I believe comparison levels on poverty cannot be standardized globally as lifestyles totally differ in all countries.On the other hand, people from the western countries have the leverage of choosing poverty as a state of mind because their hierarchy of needs on a basic level are met even if they are within the poverty level range. They have a place to stay, they drive a car, heat,airconditioner , food ,medical care -most of these are subsidized by the government but yet they are considered poor because their income level fall below the government's guidelines on poverty.Having all these in a third world country is luxury .In this regard, poverty can be alleviated in western countries just by the sheer thought of the state of mind.Solving poverty in a third world country just by your state of mind may not work as it is incomprehensible for a person from a third world country to understand that when he/ she does not know where to get the next meal.

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