• There are so many hungry children in the world for whom the face of God appears as a loaf of bread.
    — Mahatma Gandhi in What Jesus Meant by Erik Kolbell
  • The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry person; the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to the person who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the person with no shoes; the money which you put in the bank belongs to the poor. You do wrong to everyone you could help, but fail to help.
    — Basil of Caesarea in At Home in the World by Margaret Guenther
  • There is an old story told among Zen teachers. Once upon a time there was a family, the relatives of a poor sick samurai, who were dying of hunger. They approached Eisai's temple, and the good monk there took the golden halo off the image of Buddha and gave it to them, telling them to go and sell it and buy food for themselves and find shelter. When others heard about it, there was the cry of "Sacrilege!" What reckless and dangerous behavior! What kind of precedent was set for the temples!
    But the monk calmly reminded them of the story of the Chinese master Tanka, who burned a wooden image to warm himself. And he preached to them: Buddha's mind is full of love and mercy. If the Buddha had heard the plight of these people, why, he would have cut off a limb if that would have helped them in their pain! What's a halo or anything else that's available in the face of a human being's suffering and need?
    — Megan McKenna in Send My Roots Rain
  • An attack of the gimmies — you know, give me this and give me that.
    — Alice O. Howell in The Beejum Book
  • Forfeit your sense of awe, let your conceit diminish your reverence and the universe becomes a marketplace.
    — Abraham Joshua Heschel quoted in No Enemies Within by Dawna Markova
  • Consumerism is our idolatry, the heart of our illusions of power, security, and self-sufficiency, which translate into the rape of the environment.
    — Kathleen Norris in The Cloister Walk
  • Consumerism is today's version of gluttony and needs to be confronted by creating an economic system that works for all people and all earth's creatures.
    — Mathew Fox in A New Reformation
  • Consumerism is a system that links the desires of those without awareness with the actions of those without scruples to produce destruction without precedent.
    — Mark Burch in Stepping Lightly
  • The American dream of a consumerist way of life has become a dangerous illusion that no longer fits the reality of the world and our human potentials.
    — Duane Elgin in Promise Ahead
  • The raw material of our lives mean one thing when we obtain them glistening at the mall, via the Internet, in mail-order catalogs, as gifts from friends. They mean something else in the naked sober world of their origin and being. They are literally made of oppression, pain, grief, and sacrifice imposed by the global economy.
    — Chellis Glendinning in Off the Map
  • Our pundits, pollsters, and politicians, and even many of our people, don't seem to get it: as long as the so-called American dream is the desire for tin-pot economic and material success together with an entitlement and an attitude, that dream will turn out to be the nightmare it has become for so many, and we bless God that it remains an elusive nightmare. People will beg, borrow and steal to claw their way into that material dream, and when all is said and done they remain unsatisfied, unfulfilled, and ill-served. What else can explain the paradox that the richest, most powerful, and most Christian nation on the earth — that's us — is also the most unhappy, anxious and spiritually insecure nation on earth, all at the same time? Could it be that who dies with the most toys does not win?
    — Peter Gomes in Strength for the Journey
  • When all facets of one person's life are taken into account, it takes almost 120 pounds of natural resources per day to maintain the lifestyle of the average American.
    — Ellis Jones in The Better World Handbook
  • When you stop chasing more of what you don't need, you free up tremendous energy to do more with what you have, and what you have grows.
    — Lynn Twist quoted in Happiness: How to Find It and Keep It by Joan Duncan Oliver

More Quotes on Poverty