America's Divide Between the Haves and Have Nots

In my daily life I experience and live in two worlds – one that is full of opportunity and hope and one that is full of despair and frustration. One that is challenging and invigorates both the mind and spirit and one that is overwhelming full of angst and hopelessness. Some days this dichotomy hits me very hard.

I have a wonderful job that allows me to problem solve with elected officials, business, civic, nonprofit and faith leaders and advocates about ways to improve our community. I also have the opportunity to regularly meet with consumers and folks who are desperate in need of help and who are dedicated to improving their lot in life and helping others like them along the way.

I also come into contact with folks who have been beaten down by the system. These folk come from all walks of life. Some, through no fault of their own, were born into an abusive household. Some are well educated people who lost their job many months ago and are now clients of a local food kitchen. Some are elderly residents without the financial means to provide for adequate health care. Some are folks who were denied access to jobs and services because of discrimination. Some are working two jobs and still don’t have access to health insurance and are called lazy because they cannot financially provide for their family. Some have a mental or physical condition that does not allow them to fully participate in daily living.

It seems like in America the split between the “haves and the have not’s” is getting bigger. The dialogue and respect between these two groups is not as transparent as it needs to be. That is a shame because we can learn so much from each other if we simply listen. During this Passover and Easter season I suggest we think about and pray to find better and more effective ways to communicate and care for each other.


Steve, you are so wise. I love you so much! The have’s path rarely crosses the have not’s and until those paths cross, change is limited. Until it is personal for the haves change is impossible.

The distance between the haves and the have-nots is indeed growing. Thank you for this thoughtful (and thought-provoking) post.

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About Me

Steve Roling

Steve Roling

Steve Roling is the President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Each week he blogs about issues that inspire him as we work toward eliminating barriers to quality health.