Tag Archives: welfare

in reality

I have spent over 35 years working with, and walking along side, the poor and hungry. I have seen some poor here in our country who expect help and who have been taught by our welfare system that they deserve whatever they can get. But these are a  minority.

I have seen far more who struggle to climb out of poverty. This is especially true in other countries. Nothing is more heartbreaking than to watch a mother holding on to an infant dying of hunger. There is a pain in her eyes that time cannot erase.

The tragedy is compounded by knowing she has done everything in her power to keep that child alive. The poor are not lazy, not in my experience. In reality, they will do anything possible to escape the deadly trap of poverty, and that includes working far harder and longer than most of us do.

the path to greatness

If a person works only for himself he can perhaps be a famous scholar, a great wise man, a distinguished poet, but never a complete, genuinely great man. History calls those the greatest…who ennobled themselves by working for the universal. Experience praises as the most happy the one who makes most people happy. — Karl Marx

Man becomes great exactly in the degree to which he works for the welfare of his fellow men. — Mahatma Gandhi

Continuing the theme I began in yesterday’s post, I share these quotes from two powerful personalities, both of whom surprisingly share the same view on the subject.  As different as these men were, both changed history, and both came to a common understanding that happiness and greatness cannot be separated.

True greatness comes from seeking the good of the other. One is “ennobled” according to Marx by focusing on the universal good.

As radically diverse as these two figures were, both understood that creating good for those around us, creating happiness in our larger community, is the true path to personal fulfillment.

Someone wrapped up in him or herself makes a terribly small package.  At least that’s how the old saw goes.

Both Marx and Gandhi agree. Fulfillment, greatness and happiness all come from focusing on the welfare of those around us.

And in a world where 25,000 of our human family will die today from hunger, we all have abundant opportunities to achieve all three.