How can we help people who are so trapped in their difficult situation that they can’t help themselves on their own?

Lama Ole’s answer:

Instead of making the people into sinners, build a human bridge first. Perhaps you are the only one who takes a bit of time for that person. For example, when you go to the butcher, you are friendly to begin with. You don’t speak moralistically, pointing out how many animals had to die. That would just ruin everything. Then after a while, when you have established a good connection, you might be the only one the butcher can open up to a bit. Maybe he says, “Actually, I have a lot of bad dreams and am often afraid.” And you could say, “Maybe you are picking up some of the fear from the animals you kill.”

You keep it short so that he doesn’t think you are trying to educate him. And when he has digested that, you can give him a suggestion sometime, like, “There is a new position open at the post office. Wouldn’t you rather work there?” Helping others does not mean only being nice; it also means stopping them when they make mistakes. But even with difficult people, one mustn’t break the bond. Maybe you are the first person they’ve met who can help them somehow. Then you really need to have a lot of patience and build people up again and again.