Am I poor because of where I live?


I have watched you on several youtube videos and just began reading your book, Thou Shall Prosper. I struggle with the belief that we are limited in being prosperous because we live in a rural community. 

I don’t think you mean that we won’t be prosperous but I would like you to elaborate more on that.

Bless you,

∼ Holly


Dear Holly,

You have heard us say that cities are more conducive to producing wealth than rural areas and we appreciate the opportunity to expand on this idea.

Firstly, when we make a statement like this, we are talking in generalities. Individuals created in the image of God have boundless creativity and can create wealth under diverse circumstances.

Nevertheless, for most people, wealth is intimately linked to interaction with other people. This is not only because of having a wider base for your goods and services but because our minds are stimulated by contact with others. The basic study unit in ancient Jewish wisdom is a twosome. When we rely only on our own thoughts we limit ourselves.

The capacity for interacting with more people, both in number and variety, is greater in the city. There are more people to serve and more avenues to explore. In general, that increases our opportunity for wealth creation. Correspondingly, cities can be more lonely and damaging than rural areas as well. As in most cases, where there is potential for a large upside, the potential for a large downside exists as well. Our challenge is to capture the benefits of the city (even if we live in rural areas, we can use technology to a great extent to do so) without falling prey to the pitfalls.

We would recommend that you devote serious time to learning about those people who are building profitable and successful businesses by means of the Internet.  Some have built Amazon-based businesses, some have built information-marketing businesses, others have become specialty suppliers.  We urge you to banish the thought that your geography explains your situation.

Wishing you joy and prosperity,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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