10 Things We’ve Learned: #1 – Dignity is more important to the human spirit than wealth
Acumen Fund is committed to sharing the learnings we have collected over our past 10 years. In this spirit, we have published a document called “10 Things We’ve Learned About Tackling Global Poverty.” Each week on the Acumen Fund Blog, we will be posting the next lesson in this series of “10 Things,” along with a guest response from a valued member of our community.
1. Dignity is more important to the human spirit than wealth.
“What keeps people from realizing their full potential is lack of choice and opportunity.”
“Poverty” is not just about money. What keeps people from realizing their full potential is lack of choice and opportunity. It is this choice – this dignity – that human beings crave. Over the last ten years we have learned that working towards this fundamental idea of dignity is inherently more difficult, complex, and messy than working on solving a single technical problem. It demands letting go of the notion of solving problems for poor people. It requires listening to the poor as agents who want to change their own lives. Most importantly, it requires that we unfailingly, uncompromisingly address people’s full humanity. This is where dignity starts for us all.