Jesus promised in John 10:10 abundant life, but too often we get stuck in an understanding of abundance that is stuck in the shallowness of the existence we know. God's commandments explicitly point us toward the poor and the oppressed, and they are easily identified in our world. But many people don't fit these categories so clearly, and because they make us uncomfortable we too often overlook them.
Whether it comes from the effects of succombing to Alzheimer's or Parkinson's while aging or cognitive impairments from Down's and other genetic disorders, most of us who don't directly deal with these individuals give them little thought. Some of the more callous among us may write them off and wonder why we bother with them. Because they don't experience the same type of consciousness as us we assume that their experience of consciousness is not relevant to the human experience.
Our obligation to the sick and the poor is about more than just making them well and rich. Jesus said that we will always have the poor among us. I'm convinced that our duty to the poor and the sick has something to do with our faith experience as much as the temporal salve provided others. Perhaps many of us are missing out on the sheer abundance of human life that God knows we can experience by passing over and avoiding those whom we assume have no soul.
"the human spirit is more powerful than any drug- and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, familiy. These are the things that matter. This is what we'd forgotten- the simplest things."
last lines from "Awakenings"