Those of us who can give have been pounded by demands for charity this year. Apparently, neither hurricanes, nor floods, nor earthquakes, nor famines have been able to breach our 'levees'. There has been no flood of aid. The flow remains controlled and is increasingly restricted. The reasons given are donor fatigue, racism, diminishing compassion, dissipating responsibility, dissolving ties and fading obligation. These are merely superficial distractions. There is only one reason of consequence. We lack the common purpose of life.

Instead, increasingly we have the same individual purpose. With greater and greater urgency we are trying to fill the void in our lives with money and all that it can buy. This materialistic reaction to the void within us is causing the growing space between us that makes it easier to ignore our fellow human beings. To make matters worse the void can not be filled and the more we try, the more we need and the less we have to give. 

There is only one way to reverse this trend. We must reach out to the limits of our capacities, to others and to God, our common purpose. This ideal reaction to the void will close the spaces between us and fill them with a medium of compassion in which there will be no need for charity. (see poem)