How many of us middle class folks think that the poor are lucky? How many of us believe that the poor are happy?
An interesting research project done by Gallup Poll give some interesting (contrary?) results.
Here’s a brief article published by the Harvard Business Review referencing Psychological Science, “Residents of poor nations have a greater sense of meaning in life than residents of wealthy nations.”
“Blessed are the poor,” Jesus said, and the implications of that statement are rich enough to meditate on for eternity.
One example of that principle was recently observed by researchers drawing on Gallup poll data gleaned from thousands of participants worldwide: An analysis of polling data from 132 nations shows that religious belief appears to be the main reason why people in poor countries see greater meaning in life than residents of wealthy countries, say Shigehiro Oishi of the University of Virginia and Ed Diener of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Among the nations with the highest sense that life has meaning are Niger, Sierra Leone, Togo, Ethiopia, Laos, and Ecuador.
By connecting daily experiences with a coherent belief system, religion plays a critical role in helping people construct meaning out of extreme hardship, the authors say.
What’s the meaning of life? Answers may vary, but the poor have a better handle on it than the rich. Not quite what you’d expect. Unless you take Jesus seriously. So what do you think? “Blessed are the poor…?” Let’s talk about it.