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Posts Tagged ‘helping’

I was reading an advice column to somebody who was working with a charity that helped impoverished children, but the charity would make the “showcase kids” eat pizza in the back room after speaking at their charity banquets. The guy said that he felt like they were using the kids for fundraising without really empowering them, and wondered what the advice-givers thought.

In the advice, the columnist brought out a quote that’s apparently popular in the charity/activism circles, but I hadn’t quite heard before:

“If you have come to help me, then you are wasting your time; but if you’ve come because your liberation is bound with mine, then let us work together”

-Lilla Watson, Australian Aboriginal artist/activist

Isn’t that just awesome? There’s this tendency to view a helper/helpee relationship in a kind of hierarchical structure, with one having the power and responsibility, and the other having the obligation and the guilt… and sometimes vice versa. This mucks things up, and gets in the way.

I think it’s far more effective and helpful to BE in a situation with someone and offer yourself, instead of just trying to “manage” their situation from the outside. For a hundred billion reasons, it serves you better, it serves the situation better, and it treats the “helpee” with so much more power and respect. It also lifts the “rescuer” weight off your shoulders, instead empowering you to really and truly help.

I also just love the phrase “liberation” — because really, that’s what it’s all about. The rest is just stuff that happens along the way.

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