People who are treated as helpless come to hold a lesser view of themselves. People who believe they are “blessed to be a blessing” and not in need themselves come to a lesser view of the people they serve. These victim and savior complexes create a co-dependency that perpetuates the problems of poverty and far outweighs any temporary relief such missions provide…Poor people understand that getting help requires appearing helpless, and rich people unwittingly advance the helplessness of those they serve by seeing them as objects of charity, not equals (Greer and Smith 53-4).
A little while ago Eric came in after climbing the hill behind our house to check on a teenage girl with a life threatening medical condition. I asked him about the girl and after giving me the report he sighed and said, “seven”. Seven people stopped him to ask for money, food, and medicine on his short decent home. This makes us so sad. Not just because our neighbors are so poor or because we are so sick of so many “give me’s” (view the last post on that subject HERE) but because we see the paralyzing effects that come from simply providing handouts which keep the poor in a position of helplessness and rob them of dignity, responsibility, and equality. Because we have seen the difference.
Continue reading “KOFAEL – The Poor Will Be Glad”