Letters to the Editor

We must open our eyes to the suffering of others

Henry David Thoreau wrote: "Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?"

These days a lesson might only be learned by amending that "instant" to a week, a month or a year. Perhaps then those with full bellies and healthy bank accounts might realize the pain of an empty stomach because medical needs require choosing a life-preserving drug over groceries.

Those with "new sight" might see that no family planning guidance results in unwanted babies who'll eventually suffer from being born into poverty. They would find no cultural avenues for the unwashed, unworthy of food for the soul.

With this new vision they would puzzle over why the wealthy are fervently protected from paying one more penny in taxes, while humanitarian programs for the lessers in our society are gutted.

"Walk a mile in another's shoes;" "there but for the grace of God go I;" "there's always someone worse off." All fine clichès conveying the truth.

Those who are fortunate know there is misfortune, yet too many close their eyes, cloak themselves in magnificent threads, speak from lofty mansions and say, oh so self-righteously: "Let 'em get a job and earn it like I did."

Let not one undeserving person receive a handout -- despite the many who deserve a "hand up." At the pearly gates, will that shiny new boat, car or luxury cruise be more important than the kid who lives on the wrong side of the tracks?

Sherry McKnight