Poverty is not wholly a personal failure. It also represents the failure of an economic system. And the remedy is not wholly one of charity, but of political and economic action. Poverty is a reflection also on those who are not poor.
This 1951 quote from Once Around the Sun by Brooks Atkinson is more true today than when it was originally penned. The growing poverty we see, especially in the United States, is more a reflection on those of us who have the power and the voice to repair the failures of a broken system than those trapped and buried alive by it.
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest…” Maybe we should turn away before we see the truth. Complicity casts a ugly reflection.