What would you do if you were given a million dollars? A lot of people say that they would give it to charity. They’d spend it on something good or worthwhile – defeat cancer, solve hunger, stop war. Maybe they’d also give some to family members who were in debt.
There are so many things that might be helped with a judicious application of money, but they won’t be cured. Throw a million dollars at the homeless problem and you’ll just have another batch of homeless people in a year. Throw a million dollars to solving child abuse and you’ll still have more abused children later. Sometimes it isn’t about money, but about attitude. So often we are trying to fix something with a bandage when really only an amputation will cure it.
I’ve heard of people making “blessing bags” for homeless people. Inside is food for a day along with toiletries and maybe some underwear and socks. That is something, but that is only for that day. And meanwhile, the person still will be sleeping in the cold and the rain.
I think the goal should be to prevent people becoming homeless, and I can’t figure out the solution. But I also want to prevent people becoming drug addicts, or bullies, or child abusers, or rapists, or prostitutes. I want to prevent the problem, and it seems so much bigger than I can possibly get my head around. I’d rather prevent someone becoming a child abuser than just say I want to help children who have been abused. There is a huge difference between teaching women to not be a target for a rapist, and teaching men to not rape. Stop the problem at the source and you’ve fixed two problems rather than one.
I don’t think money is the answer. I think some of it is an attitude shift in our society so that people feel comfortable expressing themselves and having empathy for others. They also need to be comfortable with other people being different from them and having different opinions. Teaching people dialogue versus debate would be helpful. It is time for a different way of thinking rather than spending money.