Scapegoat: The Usual Suspects


Author: César Vargas

One of the worst things that can happen in life is to be poverty-stricken; not knowing when your next meal is going to be, eating the cheapest but most poisonous food (with the least nutrients) along with having health issues (mental and physical), constant stress, anxiety, fearing for your life and on top being shunned and chastised by every other socio-economic bracket as being the main reason why society is collapsing. Where is the logic in assuming that the poor have that much power? To bring down an empire? 

This usually comes from people who claim to be Christians, from other persecuted minorities, from people who fail to see that the poor are but a symptom of a profoundly sick and deeply unjust society. There's nothing to be ashamed of about being downtrodden but to be well-off and hold nothing but disdain and contempt for those who are not then you lack something that makes you human: a heart, a conscious and a soul. You're just a living/ breathing organism. An empty vessel. An automaton. Heaven and the future are devoid of folks like that. Salvation, from a Judeo-Christian standpoint, might be on an individual basis but if said individual doesn't serve the collective then said individual is doomed. If you don't live to serve then you don't deserve live... that includes helping those in need. In fact, especially those in need. 

However, you don’t need to believe in an ambivalent being to be good to those in need. You don’t need to fear eternal damnation to prompt you into being a good Samaritan because it is possible to be empathetic without religion. Helping those in need without condemning is the right thing to do regardless if it’ll make you feel good about yourself or by expecting a heavenly or earthly reward. And this can be done, not just through joining an nonprofit org, but by giving a hand to the old lady in your neighborhood, by helping a Dreamer fill out a form if his/her parents don’t know how to, by giving away that computer that’s collecting dust in your room or by mentoring a kid from your block to do good in school. 

Nothing good comes out of blaming poor folks for their condition for it is known that criticism, even constructive, can backfire. Helping without condemning and positive encouragement is the only way to go. It’s the only way we can become the empathic civilization

Not only will this carry us into the future, but it might just save our souls from eternal damnation. We are our brothers keepers. We must take care of those who can’t. Otherwise, we have no right to exalt ourselves above the beasts in the fields if we don’t take care of our most vulnerable. It’s what makes us human. The poor are our responsibility.

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