I cannot think of a better expression of the Christian message than “We are all in this together.”
Yes, we are all individuals with individual responsibility. But that does not mean we are not dependent on each other, it doesn’t mean that what happens to you has no effect on that happens to me.
Actually, I don’t think one must be a Christian at all to understand how interlinked we all are. It’s the human condition.
So droughts in the midwest are affecting the price of food when I go to the supermarket. Cures for cancer found in China are applied by doctors in England. Polluted air or nuclear radiation from half way around the world can kill me. Car bombs in Syria might be more significant than the recent threat to Wall Street.
In the good times when we don’t feel the need for help and support, it’s nice to think we each can take care of ourselves, and your troubles have nothing to do with me. But they do. Whether it’s SARS that started in China, or AIDS in Africa, germ warfare from Germany or nuclear weapons that started in America, whether it’s medical innovation or alternative energies or economic meltdowns, what happens to other people matters to me.
I may not be suffused with love for my fellow man.
But like it or not, we’re all in this together.
If I care what happens to me, even for selfish reasons, I need to care what happens to you.
That, by the way, is what I think the Tea Party doesn’t understand.