My experience working in the Grameen Bank has given me faith; an unshakable faith in the creativity of human beings. It leads me to believe that humans are not born to suffer the misery of hunger and poverty. They suffer now as they did in the past because we turn our heads away from this issue.
One day our grandchildren will go to museums to see what poverty was like.
Each of us has much more hidden inside us than we have had a chance to explore. Unless we create an environment that enables us to discover the limits of our potential, we will never know what we have inside of us.
I did something that challenged the banking world. Conventional banks look for the rich; we look for the absolutely poor. All people are entrepreneurs, but many don't have the opportunity to find that out.
We create institutions and policies on the basis of the way we make assumptions about us and others. We accept the fact that we will always have poor people around us. So we have had poor people around us. If we had believed that poverty is unacceptable to us, and that
it should not belong to a civilized society, we would have created appropriate institutions and policies to create a poverty-free world.
Each individual person is very important. Each person has tremendous potential. She or he alone can influence the lives of others within the communities, nations, within and beyond her or his own time.
I have come to believe, deeply and firmly, that we can create a poverty free world if we want to. I came to this conclusion not as a product of a pious dream, but as a concrete result of experience gained in the work of the Grameen Bank.
Poverty has been created by the economic and social system that we have designed for the world. It is the institutions that we have built and feel so proud of, which created poverty them.
The poor themselves can create a poverty-free world. all we have to do is to free them from the chains that we have put around them.
If I could be useful to another human being, even for a day, that would be a great thing. It would be greater than all the big thoughts I could have at the university.
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