Posted by: wasim | 2nd Aug, 2004

In the land of plenty

as-salaamu ‘alaikum

Today I picked up some surveys for a really noble project that I initially didn’t ever plan to join.  The idea is to create a free health clinic for everyone in Cambridge, and I am trying to gather survey responses from shelters in the Central Square area.

Reading through the dozen responses I have so far, I find myself thinking about the individuals who completed the surveys.  Despite good spelling and an education, each of these individuals are in really difficult situations that have forced them to end up at a shelter.  I know so little about these people and their needs that I don’t really understand how one comes to the position where a shelter seems like the best sanctuary.  I feel so ignorant.  Several of the responses said that they were very dissatisfied with free health care and, for example, were not able to see a dentist for several months despite continuous pain.  This, in the city of Mass General, Harvard Medical, Beth Israel… ?

There is so much wealth in this city/state/country and yet there’s still so much suffering.  Why is man so eternally ungrateful for what God has given him?  Why do we turn a blind eye to those who need th most help in society, while we spend so frivolously?

How can those of us who are concerned help to increase awareness by creating a welfare ethic in society?  I know it is human nature to help someone in need — I am convinced we all have an innate desire to be charitable — but in contemporary society where we don’t know each others names and rarely ask about one anothe, how is it possible?

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