Monday, April 16, 2012

You Are Here

I saw an elderly black man stumbling along a sidewalk early this morning. I couldn’t tell if he was drugged or demented, but he was loopy. He waved at the drivers of a car or three and I wasn’t sure if he was just wishing them a good morning or setting them up for some begging. But as he stumbled away, I wondered if he often thought of his childhood. If he looked back and had some happiness in his life when he was younger. And then I realized that it was probably very likely that he started out behind the 8 ball and he may never have had an easy day in his life.

I understand evolution and survival of the fittest. I know the goal is to produce healthy members who survive into adulthood and reproduce. There’s an actual biological imperative to it and it’s not just the obsession of Jewish mothers. But I have to wonder, if the animals had the ability to care for everyone, would they? How can we turn our backs on people who never asked to be here in the first place? You’re born, but you have no say in the matter. You’re just dropped off (out) and expected to fend for yourself. You’re expected to become a productive member of society, yet so many people have no idea what that looks like or how to get there. And a good percentage of our country thinks you should just rot as a result.

I don’t want to be taken advantage of by anyone either. I know there are people out there who are just working the system and are expecting us to take care of them. But there are far more people who genuinely need some help and could thrive if given the chance. How can we as a society turn our backs on them?

The folks who have been born into good fortune and want to keep it all for themselves should be ashamed. You don't have to share your time, your money, or your expertise, but you should.