Regarding Patricia McManus’ Dec. 1 letter:
It is so easy to judge the lives of others while holding oneself up as an example of right living. Senior citizens terrified of losing Social Security may have worked hard for decades at low-paying jobs provided by the rich McManus praises. My husband had to collect three years early because of a back injury at work, after serving in Vietnam and suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.
Fortunate McManus, able to choose to continue working and could find a job. Fortunate McManus, spared savings-devouring disaster. One should plan, she advises. Remember that man proposes, but God disposes. Entitlement? Our fellow humans are entitled to compassion and understanding. Should the fact that some cheat, or are lazy, excuse us from giving with open hearts and entitle us to begrudge others some measure of comfort in this life?
Yesterday, a man ahead of me in line at a 7-Eleven purchased my newspaper for me. Today, I purchased a newspaper for the elderly gentleman in line behind me. No one asked anyone whether she or he had been prudent, and was therefore worthy of the favor. Keeping empathy and compassion in one’s heart is enriching.