Power Plays

When I think of development I don’t think about money and poverty as much as I do about equality, fairness, hope and fun. Why? In short, when my wealthy white friends travel to manica to go ‘reach out’ or ‘develop’ the youth of Manica in Mozambique, they very quickly realise that despite material lack, the people in Manica are richer than them in many ways. It is not about money.

“Wealth is the ability to be generous” I think the first person to coin the phrase was Cicero. By this definition, few rich people are rich, if you get what I mean. Sometimes poverty is very ugly and cruel and requires drastic material intervention. Yet, in ‘poor’ communities I always find much life, generosity, humanity and good. Rich people, like myself need to figure out how to turn our things into tools, things like money, blankets, skills can become small bridges that allows friendship and mutuality.

If you give, say you throw things over the river to the poor and suffering but you are not willing to build a bridge and walk there yourself, then your handout will do more harm than healing. Giving without going is part of the problem. And if we go, we have to go in fear and trembling as if walking on holy ground, because our cleverness and cash can destroy the beauty in the community and individuals we think we want to help.

We often ask, how can I help… how often do you ask, how can I be helped by those I intend to help?  That is the start of addressing the power venom we carry in our charitable footsteps.

4 thoughts on “Power Plays”

  1. So grateful that you became rich enough to blog and generously share your vast experience on this journey. I will definitely follow this blog.

    1. Thanx Gawie, the blog is free, the macbook very expensive, internet so so, but one could blog at about R3 a post if your’e street smart.
      Seriously, internet access is one area where the ‘ngamulas’ could help the poor… everyone gives blankets and soup, maybe we need to make airtime and data bundles the new charitable fashion… it might be more empowering than the soup and blanket. [and so i hear my smart friends say: do both.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *