Friday, August 13, 2010

Three things...

The OnEarth weekend away was a reminder of some of the challenging issues that we are faced with at a local level. While Australia is the 'lucky country' in so many ways, it doesn't take too much digging to find some serious issues in our society. Here are three things that I was reminded of and challenged about while we were away.

1. You don't have to leave the country to see third world conditions. In fact you don't even have to leave the state and you probably don't even have to leave your home town. Images of small children wandering aimlessly in a filthy and potentially dangerous environment or homes built on a rubbish dump is not just something that you might see on a World Vision advertisement about Africa.

2. Throwing money at a problem doesn't solve it. The government and other organisations can spend millions of dollars trying to improve a situation without it making a significant difference. Without participation, empowerment, education, understanding and a change in attitudes money is next to useless.

3. We need to listen. We need to really listen, to individuals and to communities if we want to see change. How can the challenges be addressed if we are too busy 'doing' things to 'help' without actually hearing what is needed.

On the bright side , if we listen, understand and are willing to act, we can make a difference.

4 comments:

  1. I think listening is massively important. How often to governments appoint committees to investigate a need then ignore many of their recommendations? How much interaction and/or inclusiveness do these committees have with the people who will actually be impacted by their recommendations?

    Governments need to shift their focus from trying to be seen as doing SOMETHING to as you said encouraging, empowering and including the powerless, oppressed and vulnerable in their decision making.

    Even just personally I need to listen more. Often I ask questions but I don't even hear the answer...

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  2. well said...my heart is there with yours.

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  3. I completely agree with you, Em. I'm tired of people believing that money solves everything. Real change needs so much more than dollars.

    Great blog, by the way :)

    Max

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  4. Thank Max. These sorts of things really fire me up.

    Ange- I miss you. 17 days until you return. It's good to see you back in the blogging world too.

    Anonymous- Well said. Thanks for your comment, you're totally spot on. And thanks for visiting my blog, please come back sometime, I'd love to hear more of your thoughts.

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