Alpha and Omega of Active Compassion
Have you ever walked down a crowded city street and looked down to see a homeless man stretching out his soiled hand in hopes of a measly dollar? As human beings, are we obligated to give this man our earning? And just how much do we give him? A dollar? Our VISA card? We have a general responsibility, as residents of civilization, to our fellow man, as long as it doesnt interfere with our own personal progress. The ideals of welfare, charity, and the generous foreign policies are all prime examples of our aid to others, but the world is still uncertain on, how much do we give?.
The idea of welfare was founded in the United States around the time of the great depression. It was meant to temporarily help the financially less fortunate. This was intended to get the ball rolling for the economy. The government would play Robin Hood by taking from those who had money, and giving it to help those who didnt. In time, they would put their feet back on the ground and would no longer need the relief of their government. This was a very kind and productive way to help our fellow man in his time of need. Unfortunately somewhere along the line the idea of helping the broke modified, and we were simply giving them money when they had no intention on recovering from the debts of poverty. And so we continued to show everyone else how to get money for free. This is an excellent example on how we exceeded our obligation to others. Instead of a few dollars of generosity to uphold others, we give up to half of our earnings to support those who choose not to help themselves. By doing this, we have slowed our individual progress in society.
Charity is another form of helping the less fortunate persons on earth. That, unlike welfare, is to be executed at our own discretion. There is no forcing hand in charity, although sometimes we still do not know were to our responsibly begins and ends. Some individuals feel they have no responsibility toward others, and some feel they have no boundaries to their giving. How much should we give? Is it sufficient to toss a quarter or two into a cup of a broken man on the boardwalks of Atlantic City? Or should we take the man under our wings, feed, clothe and house him? The idea seems silly, but it helps us draw the line to where our responsibility to our fellow man begins and ends. The loss of pocket change wound not interfere with our lives, but the taking in of a strange man would certainly slow the progress of our success. That is where we stop giving. The stunning of development of one potentially fortuitous human being isnt worth the slight elevation of an already broken man. That would simply slow the growth of civilization.
The foreign policies of the United States, in particular, are more than generous. Week after week, taxes are taken out of paycheck by the government. This money in turn does not always flow back to our masses, but the masses of other nations. It is understood that the poverty levels of the less flourishing countries are extreme. We know they are starving, freezing, and dying. So our government sends the taxes collected to those countries in need. That would be acceptable if we ourselves didnt have citizens starving, freezing, and dying. That is just one more example of how we have anchored our progress as a nation to help others, when we ourselves need the food, cloths and homes.
We all have a responsibility to our fellow man. Otherwise, civilization would not exist. But we must all know we cannot help others until we achieve perfection within ourselves. We cannot give more than we can afford to give. We cannot stop our progression to aid others, so that, in turn, we are so disadvantaged that we need help ourselves. Compassion is the key to humanity, but survival is still the key to life.