With the death of Nelson Mandela earlier this week, his many words of wisdom, borne of hardship, are being remembered. He had some strong words for poverty.
Mandela called freedom from poverty a “fundamental human right.” He considered poverty one of the greatest evils in the world, and spoke out against inequality everywhere.
“Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils,” he said.
He considered ending poverty a basic human duty: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life,” he said.
“While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”