Abhishek Ramakrishnan
4 min readMar 29, 2021


This was my entry for an essay competition. Turns out, I only managed to win a participation certificate. After deleting the email containing the PDF link to download that, I chose to post it here so that some of you could appreciate this.

Photo by Jonathan Kho on Unsplash

So, here it goes —

‘Poverty is not just a lack of money’

Most of us are educated to understand that the word ‘poverty’ is directly related to one’s financial condition but we are all sadly mistaken. A simple Google search might have said otherwise but our indifference overshadows our need to learn and seek knowledge. Poverty is the ‘lack of’ resource(s). In this world driven by materialistic needs, we all generally assume that resources only point towards money but there are some places money will never be able to reach.

Here are the three pillars of poverty –

  1. Lack of Freedom
  2. Lack of Company
  3. Lack of Problems

LACK OF freedom

Photo by Grant Durr on Unsplash

Something we take for granted, something that most citizens of several countries around the world don’t have, is FREEDOM. We all learned to appreciate freedom after the onset of the once-in-a-century pandemic. Maybe some people do enjoy sitting back home without leaving their place but I didn’t. I had every single one of my materialistic needs covered and yet something was missing. Going out, eating at a restaurant with good company, attending a social event, talking with your social circle face-to-face is something we all took for granted. Since now it is not available, we all want it so bad. There is a reason why people are sent to prison when they break the law. Because there is no bigger punishment than ripping one’s freedom apart.

LACK OF company

Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

In the previous pillar, freedom is ripped apart when someone goes against the judicial system. But what does the judicial system do if they wanted to punish a law-breaker even further? The answer is ‘isolation’. We have all seen in the movies where if a prisoner fails to co-operate with the prison rules, the person gets thrown into an isolation cell. Have you ever wondered why? Because isolation can drive anyone crazy. We all need company, no matter what kind of a socially-awkward, toxic, introverted individual we are. We all seek company. As a living being, the most basic necessity would be company. It can be from family, friends, acquaintances, anybody — but it is crucial to keep us sane.

LACK OF problems

-Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

People tend to make fun of this pillar but there nothing to be made fun of until you have been in someone’s shoes who has a poverty of problems. In today’s world where every single need is satisfied by throwing money at it — this pillar plays a pivotal role. Why? Because the presence of freedom and company in one’s life should present problems to keep an individual engaged. Problems are what makes life and if there is none, life is no longer what it is. A problem-free life is great — in theory. But if we have no problems to worry about, we would die of sheer anxiety. Prioritizing one’s problems and not worrying is key to lead a happy life.

To put it in terms my father used to say –

“Not having any problems to worry about is the biggest problem”

Here are the last 500 words summarized in 3 sentences –

  • Appreciate your freedom and thank the everyday heroes that help us preserve that.
  • Enjoy the company while it lasts.
  • Have problems and maybe, just maybe, you might also be able to lead a happy, worry-free life.

This was my entry.

I would appreciate your feedback in the comments.

As always, thank you for taking your time to read this!