Helping the Poor: It is Incumbent Upon Us to Build a Just and Humane Society

Helping the Poor: It is Incumbent Upon Us to Build a Just and Humane Society
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Conditions in the world and of the world are all testing for man. In the affairs of life , man is supposed to display a behavioral pattern which is in sync with the requirements of living a successful life. Successful life here means not only that of an individual but that of the entire humanity and human race. All should get at least that minimum threshold of materials, money and resources which are required to maintain their life at the minimum level of satisfaction.
In sum, the tests of life demand not only to move forward but also to take all others along. Accomplishing that begins with the self of an individual, and from the family through society moves up to the global level where people of the world collectively strive to achieve the ends of the human race. Lapses that happen there impact the credibility of the human species. But, lapses do happen that is the reason why there are more differences than similarities here and where there is more of divergence and less of the points of convergence. All this suggests that the reputation of man is really at stake.
Leaving all other levels and areas aside let us take up the role an individual has to play in the immediate society in which he lives. Role well played at this stage will certainly impact favorably the human society at all the other levels. Man has to prove himself a responsible, credible and credulous constituent of the society. He should perform his role to the best of his capabilities and in the best possible manner.
The fact is that each society is comprised of different kinds of people, some are physically strong and others weak, some rich and others poor, some wise and others not so wise. This fact makes it imperative for the strong to take the weaker ones along in the journey of life, for the rich to ensure the wellbeing of the poor and for the wise to fill the life of the not so wise with all the great wisdom.
A society where all this is done is a sure guarantee of building cordial relations among the constituent individuals and putting the best person and thing at the best possible place. In such a society there is order, there is care for each other and there is mutual respect and reliability. Above all the society can be called successful in real sense of the term. Else we have too many rich and strong people in many societies who fail to make the societies successful.
The poor, the weak and other disadvantaged sections, whose needs are met by the well off sections of the people, fully recognize their roles and responsibilities and help the well off members in maintaining the ideal social conditions. They feel proud to be part of those societies and desist from indulging in any anti-social and criminal activities. One wishes every society to be ordered on these patterns but painfully that is not the case in actuality.
In actuality, the societies of the modern world are falling apart along with the societal order. The cordial relations are giving place to those which are but hostile and contrary to the ideal societal conditions and requirements. Poor, weaker sections and disadvantaged have been relegated to a status of a subordinate position to the advantaged and well off sections. They have become separate lower part of the society which is not allowed to come out of poverty and other disadvantages.
Helping the poor is an important activity and obligation upon every well off member of a society. No such person should remain aloof from his role and responsibility of generously helping the poor. In case we falter in this affair, we put the whole societal structure at the risk of disorder and chaos. If the needs of these people are not met by a particular social order they are compelled to disrupt that order by various criminal and antisocial acts in order to keep existing. So by helping others one is helping the self, and maintaining ideal conditions for the self for successful and peaceful existence.
In the modern age, the attitude of helping others, and taking them along, has suffered a great dent and people are not eager to help their fellow members of the society who need such help. There are many reasons associated with this change of behavior; one being the increased cost of living where the people who are well off, and were able to fulfill their needs and that of the weaker sections, are hardly able to afford that now. Commercialization of life has really put a heavy burden on people and has reduced their capacities and capabilities to be generous.
If that was not enough, the loss of moral and ethical values is another reason for the declining generous activities of people. The erosion of these values has given a situation where nothing comes without a cost and even the helping has costs associated with it. A person helps the poor if that act is giving higher returns by exploitation of the poor in lieu of the help so extended. There is a degree of show off also involved in the activities of help. A person helps a poor man if this act of helping gets publicized and if there is no publicity, no help is rendered. This is the reason why many self respecting people squarely refuse to accept any such help.
Helping the poor and the disadvantaged should follow some rules and etiquettes and in absence of these, no help can be considered as the sincere act of helping. We, as religious people, are ordained to help people but without hurting the sentiments and self respect of poor, if a generous act is done by the right hand the left should not have any information about that. Help in such a way is liked by the Creator, and this way of help is a trait of that Creator. He helps without giving a glimpse or idea that it was He who helped.
Seeing the affairs of our society around there are many people, not all, who claim to be the helpers of the poor and the disadvantaged but in actuality they seek the fulfillment of their own interests through their acts. In many instances t, hey collect huge donations and contributions from the masses and embezzle most of that and give very little to the poor. In other cases the leaders and administrators of the social welfare organizations and NGOs seek to achieve a name for them and get higher public posts and political offices by using the ladder of helping poor. Helping poor in their acts is nowhere in sight if a deeper analysis of these is made.
We are religious people and follow one or the other religion. All the religions of the world enjoin upon their followers to help the poor and the acts of help should begin from the neighborhood and extend to the areas outside in a nucleus to periphery manner. One can’t leave his neighbors and help other outside the neighborhood. One can’t leave the people around in destitution and create opulence somewhere else. That is not the way prescribed in most of the religions.
The best approach is to look for the needy in the neighborhood and render the help. Only in case there are no needy in the neighborhood should help be rendered outside. The parties who are helped should willingly accept that help, there is no shame accepting a help which has been extended sincerely and without any ulterior motives. This can be achieved when both the parties act as per the requirements prescribed and the conditions suggested for helping and accepting that help.
The best help, however, is the one where the people caught in the vicious cycles of poverty and other disadvantages are rescued and their poverty is ended forever and their weaknesses turned into the advantages. This would be the real taking of others along and building a successful, prosperous and progressive society. This kind of society is the important prerequisite of building the successful world free of all exploitation and discrimination. Let’s build that world now!

The author can be reached at: fayaz.greatstep@gmail