Compassion And Taxes

Last evening I gave a brief presentation at University of Colorado to a group of students who are EMT’s on the Boulder campus.  They help their fellow students in case of emergencies and also at events like football games where they end up dealing with lots of intoxicated students.  I was there to talk about our Detox facility and our treatment program.  They asked lots of interesting questions about our services, the people we serve, and funding sources.  I was more then happy to answer these questions because it provided me an opportunity to educate people about addictions and the need for treatment.

Earlier in the day I was interviewed by another student from a local college about the programs we offer and about addictions. He too also asked about funding.  Funding of services has become a big issue.  One of the CU students seems surprised we offered no cost to low cost help for many of our clients.  He seemed to question whether the people of the community were responsible for helping people who can’t afford help.  What do you think?

The amount of compassion within a community is a measure of the quality of the community.  Compassion and caring communities are places where most of us would want to live.  Places that don’t care about its citizen seem less appealing.  Funding to provide for compassionate care for those in need saves the community much more resources then get spent on helping them.  Those helped become less of a drain on our police, our hospitals and our justice system.

These days there is much discussion about spending tax dollars.  Many seem absolutely crazy mad about taxes and governments that spend money.  Where do they think the money comes from that pays for our fire services, for our libraries, for our police force, for our parks departments, our public health etc?  Taxes seem essential for running our communities, states and country.  More tax cuts means financial problems for governments, less services and many who suffer because they cannot get help.

I work in the human services field and without tax dollars many of the people we treat go without services.  Then we have people with severe addictions and mental illness not getting help.  Where does that leave the community?  More prisons are not the answer.

Taxes are necessary.  There are very few of us that have not been impacted by addictions or mental health issues in our families and friends.  Our communities would be unsafe without our public health, our police and our fire departments.

Those who oppose taxes live in a blind world unable to see those who suffer around them.  We cannot turn away from those in need because if we do we loose touch with our own hearts.  It is interesting to me that most anti-tax campaigns are paid for by those with extensive financial resources who are run by greed and the feeling that they can never have enough.  That fear mode of can’t get enough is a product of an unhealthy thinking process.  The sign that they need help also. 

Compassion is the right and healthy thing to do.  Greed and hate against government is the product of closed minds and hearts.   What would happen if we got out of Iraq and Afghanistan, wouldn’t there be plenty of resources to help those in need?

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