While growing up, I used to think that getting successful financially is entirely in the hand of fate and that there is little or nothing anyone can do to change the hands of fate concerning his or her life. Al least that is what we were told and made to believe as kids growing up in the village. So much that when a child asked a parent why there is never enough money, all you hear are statements such as "that is our fate" and "God will provide if he will" even when people are stuck in poverty. I grew to realize that all these are only assumptions founded on ignorance. Where ignorance reigns, poverty is King.
Poverty is not a state of not having something but a state of not having enough to meet one's need because even the poor have something though not insufficiency. Even in this state of having not enough, some still feel contented believing that is God's will for them to be in poverty. God never wishes for anyone to be in poverty, ignorance is. Poverty could be overcome where knowledge is applicable. Only information brings reformation, the extent of what a man knows is the extent to what he can achieve. To overcome poverty you need to first overcome ignorance.
To be ignorant does not mean a person does not go to school, it means a lack of knowledge. And in most cases, you do not get this knowledge in a school. It is a belief in most places that getting a graduate certificate guarantees financial success because the person will get a good job. But this is not true, at least not in my country. A lot of graduates are without jobs and living in penury because they solely rely on their certificates to fetch them a job. This is what ignorance has caused. The education received is at best-telling someone that Romeo and Juliet died together. Something that has no bearing with real-life experiences. So many people think that education is the solution to poverty, but education means so many things. Some pieces of information are irrelevant and not important to the situation. It will not help any man to know that Brutus betrayed Julius Ceaser in Shakespeare's play. But it will be more useful to know how to be an entrepreneur and manage a business successfully. But such training is not available in most formal education set up.
Ignorance is indeed a major cause of poverty among men today. The reason why people aren't productive is that they lack the information or knowledge about how they should do things. And this in most cases can lead to apathy. Apathy is when people do not care anymore about their condition, or when they feel so powerless and helpless that they do not try to change things, to right a wrong, to fix a mistake, or to improve conditions. Also, it breeds jealousy among people. Sometimes, some people feel so unable to achieve something, they become jealous of their family relatives or neighbor who attempt to do so. For this, they look for a way to bring the attempting achiever down to their level of poverty. Apathy breeds apathy.
Religion has also played a role in keeping people ignorant and apathetic with such exaltation as "Accept what you get because God has decided your fate." It is OK to believe God decides our fate, but not our work. The work we present to God is what he decides for us. Religion has enslaved so many people's mentality and kept them in perpetual poverty. But this is what I say "Pray to God, and row to shore,". Our lives are in God's hands, no doubt, but we also have a responsibility to help ourselves.
God created us with several abilities to improve our lives, but ignorance will rob us of discovering our strength and capabilities. Everyone can choose, cooperate, and organize in improving the quality of life; God is never the reason for not doing anything about one's condition, but mostly because of ignorance.
I have seen a case of a man who earned about $120 as salary a month. $120 is about #65,000 in my country. This man has a wife and three children who are in school. It's certain that$120 cannot feed a family of five for three weeks. Yet in this state, the man rents an apartment that is four times higher than his monthly allowance. He would borrow from friends to pay house rent and start servicing the debt with part of his meager salary every month. Then, the rest of the money is not even enough for them to feed in a week or so. He will also borrow to pay children's school fees in most cases. Now, who is responsible for this condition? His ignorance of course. His complete reliance on salary is an ignoramus decision. When asked about what he should do to improve his condition, his response is "I don't know what I should do" and he is a graduate.
Ignorance makes people poorer by robbing them of the little they earned. I have also seen a case of a man who lives in a one-room apartment with a wife and two kids. He would buy an Android phone at a price that is twice higher than his yearly house rent all in the name of Facebook and WhatsApp. Children are poorly taken care of, the wife has no good clothes to wear, yet a man goes about carrying a phone of a price that can pay his house rent for two years. This is ignorance fully at work.
If we want to defeat poverty, we need to first fight and defeat ignorance. Ignorance builds the palace where poverty reigns as King. When ignorance is destroyed, poverty can be tamed.