First of all, a significant contributing factor to our current economic difficulties in the US is the selfishness of individuals. Greed has caused people to look out only for themselves and their own interests. Consequently, people have bankrupted themselves trying to get ahead (or catch up). Meanwhile, millions of Americans are doing alright and are relatively unconcerned about those around them and their struggles.
Secondly, if everyone would pay attention to the needs of others, and work toward meeting those needs, everyone would be cared for. I know that this sounds Marxist, but it is a simple solution to a very complicated problem.
Finally, for those who consider themselves Christians, caring for others is a simple sign of obedience to the teachings of Jesus. He taught us to give to the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and more.
So here are some thoughts. Take them as you like. This is just my attempt to highlight what I call the three l's.
- The Least. We should always be on the lookout for people who are "under-resourced." This is the new way to talk about the poor. People who are marginalized by our society are the most vulnerable not only to poverty, but also to poor health, inadequate health care, inadequate social services, hunger and insufficient housing (this list could go much longer).
- The Last. There are some people who just always get pushed out of the way. It may have nothing to do with economic vulnerability, but everything to do with health issues, mental health concerns, social criteria or family situation. Unfortunately, race, ethnicity, gender, religion and education level still play a very important part in this problem.
- The Lost. As a Christian, one of my missions is to get as many people to follow Jesus as I can. A previous generation of Christians called these people the lost. Jesus said that his mission was to save the lost. My purpose is to reach out to those who do not yet have a relationship with Christ.
It's a tall order. I am sure that this one will not be completed in my lifetime. But, it is definitely something that I should be working on and working toward. Everyone, Christian or not, should be reaching out with love and acceptance to the least, the last and the lost.