Every year, Americans say a blessing as they think of the less fortunate, and thank god for the fortune that they have. They think of Christmas this year, of Yeshua, a Jew who looked a the fortunate and the unfortunate and said: it shouldn’t be like this. The world changed because one man said it doesn’t have to be like that. It changed, but not enough.
Today, most developed countries in the world create a safety net such that there aren’t fortunate and unfortunate. There aren’t children living in cars and in tents, there just aren’t, not by choice. In America, we have this even though we are rich enough to not have this and it is an American shame that people aren’t ashmaed and angry enough to get our local and national government to change this.
To say that one is fortunate is to say that we have no effect on the poverty level of our country. That is proven by dozens of developed countries to not be the case, it is a choice. It is not fortunate that we could have solved this problem a million times with the amount we put into wars, but we didn’t not because we couldn’t but because we as a society CHOSE not to.
We’re not more fortunate, we’re not motivated enough to make a change. We’re not motivated because we take refuge in the thought that some are fortunate and some are less fortunate, we take refuge in that because it allows us to think of ourselves as good people while walking past the indigigent, it allows us to sign off on taxes that pay for wars but not for a family that became homeless because someone lost their job or the housing became too much for a single income. That’s our individual and collective shame, and I personally, don’t like to hide behind “more fortunate”. I’m not more fortunate, I’m just selfish. Because I put more fight into a policy that benefits me than a just and humane society.
Mary Christmas from another Jew in Israel.