Many have praised and invoked poverty as a virtue, as a way to face life avoiding the pitfalls of greed or arrogance. As a life choice, poverty is conceptual and it rails against the material world to access the spiritual. It sublimates and elevates thought. It carries profound meanings and it is attested by the lives of exemplary women and men who have transformed a condition avoided by most into a condition sought by the few, who receive huge moral strength in return. In both religious and secular traditions, earthly wealth does not bring happiness, which instead resides and can only be found in the depths of one’s existence.
As a life choice, poverty is conceptual and it rails against the material world to access the spiritual. It sublimates and elevates thought.
This kind of poverty is an act of courage and involves total self-denial and the ability to face life’s challenges with an unfailingly positive and calm spirit, trusting in providence, whether it comes from the gods or from men. Poverty is nudity in its noblest sense. Humans, objects and houses emerge in their purest and most honest form, with no false modesty or deceptive charades, without claddings that are as seductive as they are phoney. In things, poverty is revealing. It enhances the deepest aspects, working its way into the material and transcending superficiality. In objects, as in behaviour and thought, it grades the calibre of the contents, cutting into the crust and getting to the pulp, the real substance.