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The Greatest Cure? I’d Rather Not.

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

For some, any charity is out of the question. The helping hand or minor gift of cash- perhaps needed, perhaps essential- becomes less help and more stigma and surest sign of inequality. Work towards “fixing” poverty often aim to social programs that involve heightened roles for organizations. Be they government, private or faith-based, these groups are seen as friendly panaceas to correct inequalities in society. While the details differ in politics, both Democrats and Republicans agree there is a problem. I recently read a quote that summarized this well:

“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.” – Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Yes, the divisions exist and while we may not agree as to the details, we can agree that a problem exists. Working to solve these solutions is essential, but outside assistance can only go so far. What if an individual in need rejects assistance? What if he or she feels offended by charity and would rather suffer than be assisted by an outsider. How helpful is charity if it offends the dignity of its recipients.

This rejection of assistance or discomfort with assistance must be respected. One must consider this as a possible option when working to help someone. Yes, we must strive to solve social problems but also must consider the perspectives of those we seek to help. What do they really need? How can we develop the methods to best provide our means? Whether our resources are limited or overflowing, the only quality assistance is that which is received and utilized. Throwing money at a problem only creates more and eliminates it for those who could best utilize it.

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