Sunday, February 5, 2017

Choose kindness

The End of Poverty
The End of Poverty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are two schools of thought when it comes to the poor and needy. Provide assistance and take care of people or tough love- let them suffer so that they grow into a person that does not need help   I do not believe either works.  As a principal I believe people that suffer but grow are in the end, happier. However, we want what works best, do we not.

It does not work.  Conservatives see all we do and think that we give to much to the poor. The important view here, though is how the people needing assistance see it.  I don’t believe they see it as a big gift.  I don’t think other people in the same position would either. For example, an African American on welfare see what?  They see the racism in the police force and in other places. They see that they are kept down.  No matter what color a poor person is, they will feel kept down and persecuted.  Anyone in that situation would.  Whether or not it a fact, it is human nature.

It does not matter how you view it

However, the truth vs. perception argument is not what I want to address.  I just believe that they think they are already in a tough love environment. Without the love.

On the other hand, we have had welfare programs since Roosevelt. They have not cured the problems with poverty. I think this is because poverty is just so complicated.  

So what to do?

I relate this to my working with special education students.  Years ago, I dealt with kids in a strict way. We had rules and they needed to be followed and there was consequences.  We are the adult so we will win.

Over the years, this has fallen to the wayside. The pendulum has swung as we say in education. I have a much more positive environment with less consequences. I see students succeed with this.  I saw them improve with the tough love. In fact the kids often were thankful that someone was willing to stand up to them and say, enough. I care enough to give consequences.

However, The strict way did not lead to an intrinsic change.  I think the resentment came out in other ways.  And for some children, it did not work

The encouraging way has about the same success.  However, it works longer term.  INstead of weakening problems, it increases strength. It is certainly easier on everyone. It models how to get along and exist with less strife

Perhaps the success rate is the same.  However, as a nation, how do we want to be?  We want to nurture.  Even those saying tough love, would change their attitude if they had to see people suffer when the could stop it.

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