Wealthy And Powerful’s Proverbial Indifference To the Poor


“The righteous care about justice for the poor,
But the wicked have no such concern.”

Proverbs 29:7

There literally is a proverb concerning the indifference many of our leaders have been showing toward the poor and the weak and the despised in recent years.

It may be manifest by sitting at State Fair Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and seeing State legislators paying no attention whatsoever to testimony about budget cuts that will unfairly impact the elderly and those less advantaged.

Or it could be trying to figure out just how cutting the Federal budget deficit, and giving still more money in tax reductions to the people who already have more than they could possibly need will provide work for those who have none and who seek merely to live and support their families. If someone needs a life preserver to keep them from drowning, you do not talk to them about the wonders of tax cuts and deficit reduction as you watch them go under the water for the third time.

Even the President’s counsel and advice about jobs for people, and measures to help them hold on to their homes goes largely unheeded in the nation’s capitol.

Perhaps it could be seen in enacting laws that seem to punish the weak. What children deserve the deep reductions in funding for education?

Immigrants to this nation are treated as if they lack even the vestiges of humanity when we know that they do not lack for any of those things.

A new book by a television commentator argues that the growing number of people of color in our nation speaks to the coming decline and disintegration of the country. The central theme is that as the white majority declines in America the nation falls apart and chaos ensues.

Great time, care, attention, and urgency are attached to enacting laws and decrees that benefit the already wealthy and well-connected. The councils of the powerful seem to be most concerned with their own.

Nevertheless, all of this misses how we define wealth and poverty. It is possible that the most wealthy or most powerful man or woman could be poor in heart, poor in spirit, and poor in the essential compassion asked of us for our fellow-man.

The indifference and outright contempt for the jobless as being lazy and unwilling to work, for the Occupy Wall Street protestors as irresponsible and spoiled young people jealous of those that have achieved is a common theme of the wealthy. The lack of concern for doing what is right and necessary to aid those in need of our help and concern speak to a fundamental poverty of the spirit on the part of those who rule us.

We can re-affirm our committment to justice for the poor and the weak and the voiceless knowing that our care and attention are right and just.

The Christian scriptures in 1 Peter 3: 13-14 says with impeccable logic: “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.”

With this kind of encouragement for each other we can continue to speak for the poor, the weak, the oppressed, and the despised. We note the fear and hatred of those who have been provided everything but compassion and understanding for their less fortunate brothers and sisters. The failure to see what really matters on the part of so many of our leaders is a common human failing dating from ancient times and shown to us yet again in our own.

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