We should all be equal opportunity helpers.
Whether it’s a buy one/give one model, donating of some your business proceeds, or specifically hiring those at risk, I’m all for it.
Whether you are rescuing people, working in prevention so they don’t have to be rescued, trying to change the overall system through law and culture, encouraging community, or uplifting individuals, I don’t care.
I don’t think there’s only one way to change the world.
And I don’ t think there’s only one system, or philosophy for helping people.
There’s more than enough work to do, so I’m just glad you showed up to do it. In whatever capacity.
There isn’t only one solution because at the end of the day, we are all people with many motives, many relationships, many struggles, and many hopes.
At the end of the day we are all people. Period.
All systems, whether government, business, or non-profit, boil down to the interactions of people with each other.
This is not to say that some ideas and systems aren’t better than others. They are. Those better ideas and systems are what we’re working to promote when we seek to create a better world.
But we should worry less about creating the perfect system and more about having meaningful and helpful interactions with other people.
I am purposefully speaking broadly with phrases like “do good” and “change the world” because I believe it’s applicable to every area of our life.
It’s an illusion to think that imperfect people can create perfect systems that perfectly sustain themselves.
Articles like this one criticizing Tom’s shoes for not working more broadly has some valid points, but aim them in the wrong direction. This leaves people criticizing or defending Tom’s rather than seeing how businesses like them are pieces of a much larger puzzle to fighting poverty.
Or the ridiculous political atmosphere of my own country where the talking points of politicians are divorced from the real work of statesmanship. This leaves the politicians on TV and our problems unsolved.
Or We the People in both parties who think that a heavy presence or absence of government is going to change all our ills, disregarding how intrinsically intertwined government, business and non-profits are. This leaves us yelling slogans & frustrated, with many common sense issues left on the floor.
The good news is that there is so much room for improvement, we could dramatically change the world and the issues we care about if we would only work together more often.
Choose to be someone who works with people with whom you agree on the larger issues but disagree in the details just to get things done.
Human trafficking, poverty, the global recession, hunger, malaria, AIDS prevention, clean water…the list goes on and on. All of these issues need this approach.
Causes that unite over ideologies that divide, friends.