“One great reason why the rich, in general, have so little sympathy for the poor, is, because they so seldom visit them. Hence it is, that, according to the common observation, one part of the world does not know what the other suffers. Many of them do not know, because they do not care to know: they keep out of the way of knowing it; and then plead their voluntary ignorances an excuse for their hardness of heart. "Indeed, Sir," said person of large substance, "I am a very compassionate man. But, to tell you the truth, I do not know anybody in the world that is in want." How did this come to pass? Why, he took good care to keep out of their way; and if he fell upon any of them unawares "he passed over on the other side." [cf. Luke 10:25-37]*
Our perspective changes with proximity. It is easy to overlook a need until it is staring at you in the face. This is why it is so important for us to live in community with others. When we isolate ourselves we miss out on ways God wants to use us to meet the needs of others, or we miss out on ways God wants to meet our needs through others.
*From John Wesley's sermon "On Visiting the Sick." Click here to read the sermon.