I read a post in my friend Balan's blog today. You can read it here... http://poothabalan.blogspot.com/2008/12/something-to-think.html. What I understand from his post is that we should not get satisfied that we don't have the problems of our neighbors. We should prepare ourselves to avoid or handle the misfortune, if we have to face it tomorrow, and WE SHOULD HELP THEM if possible.
Every species in this world has a mechanism of adapting to a challenging environment by mutation. But this mutation happens very slowly (takes millions of years). When the challenge develops faster than the mutation process, that particular species becomes extinct. This is the point where humans differ from all other species in the world. We have the intelligence to change our challenging environment to our convenience. Without fire we couldn't have survived the carnivorous predators. Without farming we couldn't have supported the exploding population. Without clothing we couldn't have survived heavy weather conditions.
Apart from all these things how we differ from other species is that we create cultures. We can organize things in a higher intellectual order (ants are also organized but it is in their gene, not in their brain). Simply saying, we help each other. Our parents help and support us even after we become parents. I don't think any other species do that.
I'll come to the core of what Balan says: There is a story, one person walks along a sea shore. He picks up and throws the shellfishes lying in the beach dying, into the sea. One man asks him, "There are thousand of shellfishes out there dying. You can't save them all.". Then this man replies, "I can't save them all. It's not going to make any difference in the whole population of these shellfishes. But for the one's I've thrown inside, it makes a difference". We can not help all the poor people, but if we help some, their life is not going to be the same again.
Everybody should include this into their life's goals. Happy helping...