Moral Obligation to Help Poor and Needy


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I believe that we as individuals are all morally obliged to help the poor, particularly like myself you are a somewhat privileged citizen of a developed country. Every week more than a quarter of a million children die from malnutrition and diseases. Many of these deaths are preventable. Should we feel guilty knowing that we are living privileged lives when there are billions of children dying of deprivation? And what exactly is the extent of our duty to the poor?

Everyone should help those who are poor because it is the only way that we can progress and strengthen our moral compass. We live in a society that can only advance once we have all adopted disciplined beliefs about helping the poor. If we do not, our civilization will deteriorate, tarnished by personal rivalry and an obsession with only caring about our own wellbeing. Imagine how life would be like if we had no parents or no one to help us and guide us. Those who are less fortunate should receive help from others and in turn, this would make them feel empowered to help others. The act of giving money to the poor brings a sense of satisfaction within ourselves because we know that we have improved someone else’s life. This would then mean the wellbeing of everyone would be improved and the quality of everyone’s lives would be better as well.

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Another reason why we should help the poor is that it will reduce the inequalities in our world. It will stop the cycle of rich people becoming richer and poor people becoming poorer. If there were enough well-paid jobs, if landlords did not charge exorbitant rents, if banks didn’t cause people to lose themselves in endless debt then we would live in an equal world. Unfortunately, we have allowed this inequality to happen and it is now up to us to do something to ensure that those who are less fortunate than us are helped, educated, fed, and cured. Children who were born into vulnerable families did not ask to be born into such deprivation, it is our role to ensure that this unfair and ridiculous cycle is broken, and to educate and heal all that is wrong with society.

By helping the poor, we would also decrease the rate of crime globally. There have been studies that have shown that those who turn to crime are most likely to come from a poor background. As a society, we are supposed to bring one another up and we can do this by helping others. If we give money to the poor, it will motivate them to do good for society which would mean the rates of crime would decrease.

We, as a community, we as a society, should start being more mindful and donate money to the poor and needy. It is the only way to make our society progress and become a better place and you can start now. Support famine relief organizations through financial contribution or refrain from wasting in situations of food scarcity. It doesn’t have to big amounts; you can start small and it will still help to improve someone’s life. We should also highlight the importance of helping the poor to others which hopefully I’ve managed to achieve that with all of you. My parents have always stressed the importance of helping others to me since a very young age and I think that has made me be a better person because it has made me realize how privileged I am and how fortunate I am to even be here, talking to all of you. As Peter Singer says, “If we acted upon [a moral obligation to the poor], . . . our lives, our society, and our world would be fundamentally changed”/

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