Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things.
As to the family, I have never understood how that fits in with the other ideals --or, indeed, why it should be an ideal at all. A group of closely related persons living under one roof; it is a convenience, often a necessity, sometimes a pleasure, sometimes the reverse; but who first exalted it as admirable, an almost religious ideal?
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me; For now hath time made me his numbering clock: My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch, Whereto my finger, like a dial's point, Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears. Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is Are clamorous goans, which strike upon my heart, Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans Show minutes, times, and hours.
God left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity still in the cloud, the oil still in the earth. How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource! We go to Him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that the storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven.
When we are young, we spend much time and pains in filling our note-books with all definitions of Religion, Love, Poetry, Politics, Art, in the hope that, in the course of a few years, we shall have condensed into our encyclopaedia the net value of all the theories at which the world has yet arrived. But year after year our tables get no completeness, and at last we discover that our curve is a parabola, whose arcs will never meet.
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal...We here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
What a situation!' cried Miss Squeers; '...What is the reason that men fall in love with me, whether I like it or not, and desert their chosen intendeds for my sake?' 'Because they can't help it, miss,' replied the girl; 'the reason's plain.' (If Miss Squeers were the reason, it was very plain.)