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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Everyone's Got Connections

How large a social problem are "your poor, your hungry and your homeless"? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 389).

Looking at this from the reverse perspective--as a retiree with a comfortable income--I ask the question: To what extent is my prosperity due to my efforts?--very little it turns out.  Obviously if we all were "islands unto ourselves" we would not benefit from the wealth of our nation or our work groups or from the many advantages of fortuitous nurturing.  It is very clear to me that much touted "individual responsibility" plays only a secondary role in my present favorable circumstances. I owe virtually everything to others.

The reverse of my comfortable prosperity are those individuals who are poor, hungry, or homeless.  It is purblind in the extreme to see deprivation as a product of narrowly circumscribed islands of individuality.  Whether we like it or not, poverty is largely a social phenomenon woven with many recurring themes, most flowing with foreboding inexorability. Certainly this is a principle reason the Bible consistently and extensively defends the vulnerable and pleads for compassion. 

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