We must show compassion to our own

Reader Input
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I’m 72 years old and I have a very good memory. When I was just a young boy I saw a startling photo in one of the magazines my dad was reading. It was taken in some Third World country; it showed a dead body at the curb and people were walking past it. I asked my father if that was here and he told me that would never happen in our country ... we were Americans and we would never allow that to happen in our country. I always believed that until recent years. Now I keep hearing how people have got to be responsible for themselves. They’ve got to look after their own health and their own well-being, their jobs and their retirement. And I agree with all that. But there are people now saying it as if it were a threat. As if they’d better get it right because it’s “Every man for himself.” What if something goes drastically, horribly wrong and their world get turned upside down; no money for health insurance, no money for the mortgage? (What of) people who have been working and paying their bills but their jobs aren’t there anymore? Do we kick them to the curb and step over them? I’ve personally witnessed two separate families go through the worst of it and it’s not over yet. One lost everything and the other is in a long, slow financial struggle that may end badly. We tend to paint with too broad of a brush when it comes to the poor in this country. We see the freaks that jump in front of the TV cameras at Occupy Wall Street but we overlook the people trying their best but are the victims of greed and circumstance. They need our help. I want not a penny from the rich in this country but I do want America to start looking after those that have fallen on hard times. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to church but I do remember one of the things I used to hear. To paraphrase: “Sooner will a camel pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man will get into heaven.” We’ve got to stop vilifying those collecting unemployment. There will always be those that cheat, but the majority need it for their survival. We’re all Americans ... we’ve got to start showing more compassion to our own. Dan Tomich, Auburn