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Friday, July 1, 2016

Oppression and the Basic Needs of Man

Who in your world are “oppressors” and who are the “robbed”?  How can your help bring justice to the oppressed?  How can [people] help? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1091.

The oppressed are those who are deprived of essential basic needs.  So the inevitable question arises: “What are the essential basic needs of human beings?”  It is logical to respond almost automatically “food, clothing, and shelter.”  But it is obvious that many with an abundance of these things can be oppressed in decisively important ways.  There is no escape from the conclusion that the essential basic needs of human beings encompass not only the three needs mentioned above, but also includes nurturing with its attributes of respect, goodwill, generosity, and empowerment.   In business this means sufficient autonomy to make accountability real.  In government it entails underwriting, encouraging, and enforcing individual and institutional liberty. In education it means sharing enthusiasms for academic disciplines and all their concurrent behavioral requirements.  Religion has a special responsibility to model and promulgate community nurturing.  And, of course, a family unit fails at its task if it fails to embody nurturing on the most intimate human level. 

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