First we would need to get rid of the concept of deserving. Because the westernized world loves to believe in deserving. That homeless guy probably deserves to be homeless — probably an addict or something — nevermind that there are homeless children whose parents lost a job and didn’t find a new one fast enough.

And we all know poor people just didn’t work hard enough, and need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps or they get what they deserve. As long as we have “ours” we think the world is fair and right and good.

No one wants to let go of the “american dream” that says if you just work hard, anyone can be a success and so anyone who is struggling has no one to blame but themselves. Until it’s them.

And when it’s them, when they lose a job or can’t pay for medical care, they are consumed by shame and guilt and wondering what they did wrong and spend money on self help to try figure out how to get “their” life together because they’re good people and willing to work hard if only someone would show them the way.

We need to start looking outside ourselves and our tiny nuclear families and see the bigger picture, but it’s ugly and who wants to look at ugly? Much easier to just nevermind, do some meditation, start a side hustle.

I saw a TED talk with a woman who is fighting cancer and she said when she was diagnosed, her initial response was — but I can’t have cancer, I have a son, and I’m a good person. Getting cancer, she said, changed how she looks at the world. Made her realize bad things happen to good people — and I wanted to ask her why she ever thought otherwise.

Humans are tiring sometimes.

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