1. The presence of the poor reflect my own poverty - "If some in our midst are poor, faced with a daily struggle to pay for food, rent, and medical bills, that is in part because I, too, am poor—insufficiently endowed with the love, compassion, and sense of justice that might motivate me to redress their poverty."
2. There are two competing views about the poor in this country. The first comes from loud voices in the country who view "the poor as failures, as castoffs who must patiently endure their pitiable fate. We’re entitled to help them, of course, but our help should be considered an act of private charity, not a plank of policy—and, therefore, not our collective responsibility."
The second view - that of Buddhism - "sees people as responsible for one another; indeed, from the highest standpoint, it sees that people are one another, interdependent and mutually sustaining, each in all and all in each. While there are inevitable limits to our personal ability to help everyone in need, we are each obliged to make some contribution to the well-being of the nation to which we belong and the communities in which we participate. This obligation is not merely personal. It extends to our collective voice, the state, which, as the organ of national policy, must endeavor to see that no one lacks the basic amenities of a decent life.”
3. Government assistance along with private effort is vital - "he deficit hawks lament that we can’t afford to spend on programs that assist the poor, but the truth is that our ability to fight poverty is not stymied by a shortage of funds but by policies and laws that benefit the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. Over the past half-century, the share of the nation’s wealth going to the top 1% of households has more than doubled. While the incomes of the rich have soared, fast food and service sector workers are paid minimum wages, with no extra benefits. Often they’re forced to work two jobs just to support their families, and an illness in the household can be a financial catastrophe."
(read more: https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/price-dignity/ )