Rappahannock News

‘ Teach a man to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime’


Anyreferen­ce to a “BOOM” (Rappahanno­ck News, Jan. 20) brought to mind a boom alright; however, my thoughts exclaimed, “Yes…huge boom at the gas pump when I ll my vehicle perhaps half way instead of full, huge boom when I go to the grocery store and view bacon prices, egg and dairy prices, hamburger prices. Throwing more money at people isn’t the solution.”

Remember when some businesses raised their minimum wage, and then installed automatic ordering to eliminate jobs? Actions have consequenc­es and some quick bandaid approaches do more harm than good, in my opinion.

Remember, “Feed a man a sh, you’re fed him for a day. Teach a man to sh and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.” Granted, the poor will always be among us. Some will need help always. However, many can be given, and will bene t from, a hand up to thrive. Years ago, I interviewe­d the director of what was then called a sheltered workshop. When he was showing a parent around, suggesting possibilit­ies, the parent exclaimed, “Oh, my child couldn’t do that!” The director gently asked, “How will you know unless you let your child try?” Positive exploratio­ns into solutions are in many places.

Read “Barking to the Choir” by Gregory Boyle, a Jesuit priest who started Homeboy Industries in 1988, one of the largest gang interventi­on programs, giving troubled youth the chance to transform their lives and experience joy in that ful llment. Ben Carson founded the Carson Scholars Program for grades four through 11 youth, another example.

Wes Moore lists a Resource Guide of organizati­ons whose intent is to gather many to bene t many in his book, “The Work Searching for a life that matters.” Wes Moore spoke at a PATH Foundation event awhile back, stating that we, as Americans, go positively forward. Who do we know as positive examples to emulate?

Colin Powell’s book, “It Worked for Me” comes to mind as a great American whose life could be shown as a pebble tossed into a pond, spreading ripples of in uence throughout our societies. Here locally, Lillian Aylor and her book, “I’ll Get it Done,” is an example of positive in uence to admire and follow.

Together, I am sure we will be able to assess how we can make a di erence to resolve the massive di culties as we realize the complicate­d threads that entwine our situation. Not suggesting it will be easy, but better than what’s currently our “now.”

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