Ghetto Thinking


Eric Butterworth (1916 – 2001) was a Unity Minister, broadcaster, and New Thought author and teacher who wrote several books, including In The Flow of Life and Discover The Power Within. For those of us learning about the Law of Attraction and how to manifest more of our desires, I offer one of his quotes which contains great meaning: “It is not so much that we need to get the people out of the ghetto, as it is that we need to get the ghetto out of the people.” What, though, do I mean by the term ghetto?

Two definitions from Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary may help: 1. A quarter of a city in which members of a minority group live, especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure. 2. a situation that resembles a ghetto, especially in conferring inferior status or limiting opportunity. When I use the term in this article, however, I’m not referring to a class or ethnicity of people who inhabit a specific place. I mean it in a broader and figurative sense of the word; to apply to all human beings and an aspect of self–perhaps a negative trait or habit–that doesn’t serve our highest potential or expression. The ghetto of which I write is not a place, but a way of being in the world.

I draw Eric Butterworth’s quote to the foreground for one reason only: Because it contains a fundamental truth! On the surface, an actual ghetto (which is an effect) might appear to rise independently in the world of form. It could certainly appear so; and certain images associated with poverty and segregation might support that belief. The truth, however, is that ghetto-like conditions–in various aspects of our life–arise from our state of mind. In many cases, a ghetto mentality has been passed from generation to generation. The environment, no doubt, perpetuates the conditions; but the primary cause of such conditions is the underlying mentality. Let’s think:

Have we not heard accounts of individuals who–having been moved from a ghetto to a more favourable environment–soon created a ghetto anew? Considered superficially, this might appear as though a deity had deemed such to be so; or that the individuals had been cursed to exist in such conditions. It might even be labelled bad luck, coincidence, or fate. The explanation, however, is much simpler: Wherever we go, we take the way we think and feel about ourselves with us! Unless we change–and leave the negative mindset behind–the same conditions are bound to repeat. How, though, do we change?

By daring to envision a better way of life; by staking claim to that which we desire; by changing the way we think and feel; by averting our eyes from our negative habits and surroundings, and by imagining a brighter future. Easy? No. Possible? Yes, as proven by brave souls who have done so! Small habitual steps lead to great rewards. The point of this article is not about ghettos; it’s about the principle of life to which Mr. Butterworth alluded: That to change the unfavourable conditions in our life, we must change within! We must move ourselves! The way out is the way up–through a rise in consciousness to a higher vision of ourselves, for ourselves! Until that occurs, the lower conditions will continue to manifest. They must; for such is natural law. The effects that we experience are always a reflection of thought processes behind them! Such is so; has always been so; and always will be so! We may ask ourselves:

Is a ghetto mentality functioning in our life? Do we believe that certain conditions–in our health, wealth, career, and relationships–have been fated upon us? Or written in the stars? Are we giving too much attention to the circumstances in which we live, and too little to our positive creative vision? Do we desire greater health? Then we must move away from illness consciousness by focusing on health–not disease! Greater prosperity? Then we must away from poverty conscious by focusing on prosperity–not poverty! Greater success? Then we must move away from failure consciousness by focusing on success–not failure!

We may rise up and move from our personal ghettos; we may elevate ourselves into a brighter state of consciousness. Negative traits and habits may be left behind. How? One thought at a time. The results of tomorrow are created today–by the thoughts, words, actions, habits, and strength of character that we deliberately choose now! And to our glorious future, I offer a powerful quote from James Allen (1864- 1912), who was an inspirational author and teacher of New Thought: “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,


Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

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