The Richest Poor

We are, without a doubt, one of the richest nations, if not the richest nation, on earth, and growing richer each day, yet we have an increasingly homeless/indigent population. We’re taking the least of these, the sick and elderly, and we’re turning them away to let those with obscene profits gain even more obscene profit. While people are fighting for the rights of same sex couples to marry, to adopt children, to live as equal citizens, at the same time, women’s rights are being pushed downward by state and local governments who hearken back to days gone by that never really were. They’ve substituted flights of fancy as their shared history, and seek to merge that historical fantasy with our present reality.

We’re becoming an economically dichotomous nation, where you’re either very wealthy, or very poor, and if you’re in the middle, you will slide toward one of two directions. Most will likely be shocked when they look up from their cell phones only to discover that direction is not laden with gold and diamonds.

These aren’t foretellings of doom, merely concerns I have for the way things may become if we’re not careful. If we don’t become actively involved in the direction of our nation, we will reap the fruits of our seeds of our ignorance and neglect.

We have become a shortsighted, intellectually incurious nation. Our collective intelligence, along with our shared pathos, is suffering for it. One day the total cost of our actions will come due in a way that cannot be repaid, against a generation that shouldn’t have to pay that economic and social debt. I do not want this to happen, yet it seems like we’ve now politically maneuvered ourselves for this very thing to happen.

This isn’t an edict, and it’s not a judgment of any one person. It is not a rant against either the religious or nonreligious, nor the conservative or liberal alone. It is a call for us to start engaging one another in open, honest discussion, and to set aside the distractions of which we face every day, long enough to have a real, national discourse on the matter. No inflammatory generalities toward one political party or another, or one social group or another. Merely to stand face to face, as a nation, and agree that there are problems that will require all of us to fix, not just some, not just one person.

Do I have a bias here? Most certainly. I stand for the poor, the voiceless, and the homeless. I represent the sick, the needy, and the downtrodden. I stand in the gap for anyone who has called for help, in genuine need, and has been denied; prejudged because they didn’t fit the mold they were told to conform, whether because the mold was ill-fitting, unjust, or just wrong.

We need to have the conversation, and it can’t wait until our generation has passed. Who are we? How deep does our humanity run? If we ignore it, why do we think it will just go away?


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