Monday, July 27, 2009

Simple Arithmetic

One of the problems with trying to help people is deciding which people to help.
Most people would assume that the best thing to do is to help those who are in most in need.
But this thinking is often a waste of time, effort and resources.
These "negative" people usually act in such a way as to cancel out any positive influence on their life.
Then we have the survivors.
These people are neither hot nor cold.
These are the people that accept any condition they are given and fail to make much effort in making things better.
These benign individuals will be helped by any assistance - they just won't show a profit beyond what you've put in.
At the end of the day, the only improvement shown is what was put in by the outside source.
The outside resources could have been spent in a more profitable way.
The best way to aid anyone one is by only helping those who are helping themselves.
This way, your "1" plus their "1" actually adds up to some thing of greater value.
A person who is helping themselves and others could be assigned a greater value.
If a person is helping ten other people, assisting him will enable him to positively effect ten more.
This way, your one effects ten more (in addition to the original recipient).
Instinctively, we assume that he who is greatest need should receive the most help.
But these people are always in need.
People who always need something are the people who will always need something.
The people who settle for anything will settle for anything.
Your investment in that person won't grow.
The only way to effect any real change is by utilizing your resources on those who are actually making an effort to help themselves (and ideally, others).
Really, it's just simple arithmetic.


brohammas said...

not all who need the most help are helpless.
In the PR or political battle of social programs too often the homeless bum or fictional welfare queen are the image portrayed. Reality is these are usually lost causes as the bum is more often than not mentally ill and will not get off the street no matter your offer.
I think I agree with what you are saying in that those who are trying already but being stiffled for whatever reason are the ones to be assisted.

The curve ball here is children. A young person with good for nothing parents is sunk unless acted on by an outside force.

FreeMan said...

Brohammas said my point exactly. The rule does not fit with children because they haven't accepted, quit or really had a chance to see what the world is really about. Even in the application of aid I think it's true intention is to stablize the lost so that their children will get out from under their lost ass.

The problem with an immense amount of negativity is that the ish is neverending. I'm in Chicago right now and I'm looking at the endless blithe that is about 100 streets deep. Just endless amounts of crappy housing, food, streets, bus system and overall life. As I drive around I think Got Damn what kind of cat comes out of this? How can anyone maintain a happy face with the kind of negativity surrounding cats in The GO! Somehow Kanye metrosexual ssa made it out huh?

The best anyone can do is put a band aid on what is - and find a cure for what will be! The kids have to survive their current situation!

uglyblackjohn said...

That's why I've given up on all but the kids.
Many of the adults have settled for what was given - some of the kids still have hope, some of the kids need to be taught hope.

RunningMom said...

I remember when my son was born, I was 22, jobless (recently fired), and couldn't collect unemployment because they said I wasn't physically able to work. Mom was living in a 3000 sq ft house by herself. I wanted to move home till I got back on my feet, she told me to go on welfare.

I felt like welfare wasn't an option. I don't need welfare, all I needed was 3 months of help. 3 months and I would be able to collect unemployment and all would be good.

My own mother (who had the means) wouldn't do it. So I called my dad. He ended up paying my rent for 3 months, which then my mom got jealous and bought groceries for 3 months. After that, I was good to go. 3 months was all I needed.

I wonder where I would have ended up if not for my dad. I wonder if I would have ended up in a cycle I couldn't get out of or if I would have found a way to make it work without welfare.

Sometimes, a little bit of help is all someone needs to set them up for the rest of their life. Sometimes once their hand is out it never goes back in their pocket.