The path out of spiritual poverty

Originally appeared on

We often define poverty in its most basic material terms: the aching lack of food or the cry for shelter, for example. But there's also a spiritual poverty that's just as debilitating. It comes as a hunger for friends, purpose, opportunity, status; as lack of ideas, inspiration, innovation; as dearth of sensitivity and affection.

In the industrialized world, there's such an avalanche of material things intended to gratify human wants that there's what might be called the "poverty of abundance," where people try to ease their feelings of emptiness through addiction, unbridled spending, impulsive relationships—all of which are ultimately unsatisfying.

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