“For too many of the poor in today’s America, life is essentially that of a client,” says Elise Hilton in this week’s Acton Commentary. “The government cares for their needs: housing, food, education. Spending one’s life as client creates an entitlement mentality: ‘I am here to receive. I am owed something. I depend on others for my needs and desires.’”
A place is where people are invested. They create homes, send their kids to school and dance lessons, own businesses, shop locally, plant gardens and cooperate in community enrichment. When one belongs in a place, one becomes a citizen.
With the ruins of Baltimore fresh in our minds, one is left to wonder how people of that place could torch businesses and destroy their home. The answer, I believe, lies in the difference between being a citizen, and being a client.
The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.