Opinion – How do we best help special interest groups?

When we give certain people or groups special help, tax breaks or monetary handouts, are we really helping? Sometimes, I think the answer is yes. Disabled persons who just cannot make a living on their own deserve a life of dignity and should be eligible for assistance if they so desire it.

But what about people who could make a living but just don’t? Those who don’t want to, for instance, clean toilets or mop up empty office buildings. It’s easier for some to sit at home and figure out how to get handouts.

And what about those falling into a sort of third group? By these people I mean those who have suffered some kind of collective trauma and (apparently) as a result, are at a disadvantage. When do we help those people and when do we say, Okay, time to get over it and take personal responsibility?

Sometimes I feel that giving away too many handouts is really an insult. The message here is, you can’t make it on your own so you deserve special treatment.

And why can’t they make it on their own?

Why are entire countries or types of people hopelessly lost in poverty?

Are they dumber than the rest of us or have they just fallen into a horrible rut of hopelessness and dependency on the rest of the world for sustenance?

Clearly, the latter is true. They are no dumber or smarter than the rest of us but are just not using their abilities to their full potential.

Why is this the case?

The reasons for not reaching one’s full potential are manifold. But ultimately it comes down to some belief or attitude holding people back.

We all have more or less the same brainpower. But that brain needs to be nurtured and nourished—physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually.

If we focus more on getting people to help themselves, only then will our planet become more egalitarian. However, if we just continue to subtly say, you can’t do it by yourself so we’ll continue to treat you like infants, well, then large groups of people will repeatedly learn to be dependent and never take those tough steps toward independence.

Yes, this process of helping people to mature into self-sufficiency should be gradual, just as raising kids to adulthood is gradual.

What good parent never insists that their child learn how to become personally responsible for their own lives?

I doubt this viewpoint will be popular among those who feel hurt or slighted by society. But blaming others and looking for handouts sometimes means those folks will never get out of the very rut they suffer from.

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