Oh, I know, I have heard it a thousand times, too: "The world doesn't owe you a living." And as a stimulus to personal responsibility and self-reliance, there is something to be said for this old maxim.
But as a statement of fact, it is a resounding falsehood, invented by the World to wash its hands of you, to abdicate its essential role. The world owes you a great deal, by the simple reason of your existence.
You were brought into the world by your father and your mother, under the mind and will of God. Your father owed you his name, and the best provision and protection he could manage in his circumstances: less if his circumstances were difficult, more if they were relatively easy; and nothing at all only if he died before you were born. Your mother owed you a sacrificial love and care in the same way. They owed you that much, even if they were evil: as the Lord of All Worlds said, "You, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children." Not necessarily luxuries, but most certainly Real Good Things.
The world owes you the full welcome of kindness and hospitality -- even if it sees you as an unknown stranger. Kindness is owed to every one of your kind -- that is what kindness means. Not depending on kin-ness, but on kind-ness. And generous hospitality: and for the lack of that hospitality and human kindness, The Lord of All Worlds personally visited Sodom and Gomorrah and removed them from this world. Where they went, I do not know; He knows; He did not apologize.
The world owes you honesty and fair dealing. If it makes a promise to you, it must keep it. It must keep its part of any good bargain with you. It has no special permission to lie to you, to bully you, or to harm you. If it does, you may call it to account; you may demand redress with the full right of any human being.
The world owes you the truth about reality: about its past, with its glories and its shames. Its present works, successes, and failures. Its intentions for its future -- for that will affect your future.
The rich, and the relatively rich, have an obligation to the poor, and the relatively poor. The Lord of All Worlds consigned a rich man to the Flames for his failure to meet his obligations in this world.
The rulers of countries and cities and empires have solemn obligations to all their people, and that includes you. Failure to fulfill these obligations is not acceptable. The Lord of All Worlds drove the King of Babylon from his throne for this very thing.
The United States Government owes you, if you live within its borders, or under its jurisdiction. It was created under the obligation to establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquillity, provide for your Defense, and promote your general Welfare, and assure you the blessings of Liberty. You have this warranty in writing.
The People have inalienable rights from God; the Government has solemn responsibilities to respect them. We, and our children, and the stranger within our gates have the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and much else. Our constituted authorities have the responsibilities to secure, maintain, and nourish those rights.
The World will not tell you this, of course. But every good thing it possesses, it has received freely from the Hand of God and the faithfulness of Mother Nature. Oil from the ground, silver and gold from the mines. And fresh streams and purple mountain majesties and the fruited plain. "Freely ye have received," the Lord of All Worlds commanded, "freely give." The world owes you a share in its freely received abundance.
This is, in fact, the Real World Order, as we shall all see, sooner or later. Preferably sooner; for much later would, I think, be Judgment Day.
So I say with some confidence that the world does owe you -- quite a lot, actually. And as long as you and I are in this world, we must accept, as a part of our own personal responsibility, this solemn obligation toward all others. The Lord of All Worlds has most seriously called us all to it.