Black and White and Gray all over……..

When I was in banking, the world was pretty much a black and white world.

Either you met the requirements laid out in the 566 page Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guideline and got the loan or you didn’t.    Rarely was there a gray area where you could/would be able to dispute things with the underwriter.    It was a pretty comfortable world from that standpoint.

The world of caring – caring for orphans, caring for foster kids, caring for the marginalized, caring for those on the edge, caring about social justice is rarely clean cut.   It’s very rarely easy to judge what works and what doesn’t.   It’s hard to see and predict the long term implications of short term actions.

That’s why there are books  called, “When Helping Hurts.”  

That’s why many people outside of the international development community like UNICEF and many inside the community consider UNICEF to be a four letter word.   

There are so many issues and so many layers and so many misconceptions.    So many things that look one way but then end up resulting in a different thing.

Like the time when a short term volunteer bought a neighbor boy a bike.    Sounds like a good thing right?

  • Until the kid got mugged two days later, beaten up and his bike and all of his school supplies stolen.
  • So, not only did that little boy go from the high of getting a gift that was totally beyond the realm of possibility to seeing it taken from him.
  • But he also went through the trauma of being attacked and beaten up.
  • And losing his school supplies.
  • School supplies that cost his parents a couple of months worth of income to pay for.

There are a lot of misconceptions, a lot of “layers” of understanding and misunderstanding.

Many things look one way on the surface – but then when you look under the hood, you see that things aren’t the way they first seem.

We’re going to be talking about a lot of those type of issues here.

Issues with no easy answers.

Issues that matter.   

I hope you’ll join us.