Re: “Bill Nemitz: Indifference over deaths of homeless unacceptable” (Dec. 23):

I’ve observed from an early age that things are often not what they seem, and that the impoverished and/or homeless among us might well be in that situation because of the depraved indifference they experienced at an earlier point in their lives.

I know of several well-regarded men whose children will pay to the end of their days for the parental abuse they suffered.

I know of psychiatrists who prescribed inappropriate medication to vulnerable clients, and consistently crossed boundaries, to the detriment of those clients.

I know of divorce lawyers who manipulate both the court system and clients to ensure a high-conflict divorce, leaving untenable debt in their wake.

I know of women who struggle to stay one step ahead of domestic abuse. I could go on and on.

We are all vulnerable to the harm another may do. We all perpetuate that harm when we think that we ourselves are invulnerable to it.

The safety net we all need, every single one of us, is the compassion of our fellow human beings, or if compassion is too high a standard for some to aim for, the more self-serving one that understands that it’s best to have a look out for those in need, because God only knows when we ourselves might need it.

Zoe Goody

Cape Elizabeth