10 Marks of Mental Poverty on Blog Action Day

On first glance, mental poverty appears less destructive than physical forms of poverty. Look again though,  at  toxic wastelands in the human mind at work, and you’ll often spot poverty’s deadly marks.

While it’s true that all forms of deficiency leave people emaciated, it’s also true that mental poverty sneaks in unnoticed, stalks in silence, and tends to strike like a grim reaper when least expected. How so?

10 toxic marks of poverty erode minds that tend to:

1. Consume as if all humanity had enough resources to satisfy their needs. It snuffs out interpersonal intelligence that otherwise adds caring and supports humankind.

2. Fear taking  regular risks that lead you beyond the pack,  and you’ll remain in ruts that decimate intrapersonal intelligence for personal growth.

3. Abuse nature by polluting or ignoring your environment,  and you barricade your mind from wonders hidden within nature that are attained through naturalistic intelligence.

4. Lament problems, while avoiding your own capability to create solutions and you’ll diminish your logical mathematical intelligence to contribute to a richer world.

5. Ignore the beauty and wisdom in art or icons from many cultures, and you’ll  lock your experiences  in a smaller and impoverished mental mold, that shuts out visual spatial intelligence.

6. Speak down to some, insult others, diminish those who differ, hint disapproval of many, belittle older or younger, waste words on ego, or write to find fault – to ensure poverty stricken verbal intelligence.

7. Entertain one kind of music only, and be sure to flee from diverse genres, cadences or compositions, to sink into rhythmic poverty rather than musical intelligence.

8. Procrastinate your projects, toss materials around without order, spend frivolously, and refuse any form of daily targets to build your case for logical mathematical intelligence which adds goals and organized action plans for growth.

9. Disagree vehemently with all who differ from you in basic values, and let them know your opinions without being tainted by approaches on the other side, for minds that end up poorer with each conflict that comes along.

10. Listen only,  yet fail to act on any insights you see others live and model.  In this way retain less than 5% of facts you’d gain by actively engaging multiple intelligences beyond lectures or poverty on any new topic learned.  

Poverty of the human mind blocks one’s capability to sidestep dangers or to help others find riches of their own. Have you seen it happen?


  1. I was intellectually starved as a kid, but I learned to feed myself. :)

    Jean Browman–Transforming Stresss last blog post..What I Learned From Losing Loved Ones

  2. eweber says:

    Thanks Jean, you build a good case for empowering people to move forward, in spite of the barriers we’ll all face in one way or another. What would you say is the first step to learning how to work best to support others and also work for individual growth, at the same time.

  3. rummuser says:

    Ewebwer, I wish that I had a brain!

    Jokes apart, this is a fascinating way of looking at life. Thanks.

  4. eweber says:

    Rummy, thanks for your kind words!

    In reality, your brain is rich and we’ve been the recipients of that wealth on many an occasion. As I considered poverty to write this blog I saw these areas that we work against the brain’s innate riches, unless we are aware.

    For me, that awareness is daily, and is often sparked alive by fine minds like yours! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. While we look at physical hunger as dramatic and immediately want to do something to stem it, we cannot see spiritual and mental hunger. Nonetheless, the mental and spirtual are the motor that drives the ship. We’re lost at sea and drowning without the amazing filling they bring to each of us.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..Education – Power to Fight Inner City Poverty – Blog Action Day

  6. eweber says:

    Robyn, what a wonderful metaphor to motor the ship toward solutions for poverty. Your comment reminds me that this is a global problem, and very much a local problem for all of us who care to get involved as you do! Thanks – you inspire us all!

  7. Thanks, Ellen. It’s just a reminder that poverty is impacted in so many areas and intellectual capital is critical to finding good work in today’s world.

    I was a tad bit fearful that I had carried that metaphor a little far. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..Education – Power to Fight Inner City Poverty – Blog Action Day

  8. eweber says:

    Ahhh the case of the wandering metaphors — those little critters that keep the best writers chasing after their heads and hearts! Thanks for the smile, Robyn:-)

  9. Ellen, I have often referred to the poverty mindset. As you pointed out it has little to do with physical poverty. I have seen these toxic marks. I have seen numbers 6 and 9 frequently during this US election season. The first point about consumption really hits home and in itself would go a very long way to resolving physical poverty. I really appreciated this perspective on poverty Ellen!

    Karen D. Swims last blog post..5 Sizzling Tips to Fire Up Your Marketing

  10. eweber says:

    Thanks Karen, I agree with you that we have seen evidences of the harm poverty of mind has on an entire population – especially in challenging times. What, in your wisdom, would be the first step toward exchanging this deficiency to foster talents and rejuvenate our poverty-laden systems?

  11. […] money came in like a flood to broken inner city secondary schools, and I’ll never forget the mentally impoverished results. Sadly, the broken systems regressed even more. yet that experience changed my life forever. […]

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