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Fishing for Dreams

July 27, 2011

One of our workers came to me this morning.  He is an excellent worker, always willing to do whatever is needed.  He always completes things well and in a timely manner.  He is always cheerful and pleasant.  He told me he is married and has a family, and that he has been renting for nine years.  He would like to have a home of his own, but understandably finds it difficult to save enough to start building.  He has saved a considerable amount, but he would need more than twice what he has.  He asked me if I had any ideas how he could realize his dream.

I didn’t know what to say.  I told him I don’t know how things work here, that in Canada one would go to the bank for a loan.  He explained that if one has a business one may be able to borrow, but banks here do not consider a job collateral.  My understanding is that one would go to family for help.  In Canadian terms what he needs is a pittance.  I could give it to him and never notice it was gone.  But I am very aware of the problems that would create.  If I helped him all would understandably expect equal treatment.  Jealousy is a potent and sometimes dangerous thing here.   And I don’t have to read When Helping Hurts to know how easy it is, even with the best of intentions, to do more harm than good.

The longer I am here the fewer answers I have, both for others and myself.  But this I do know.  There is great truth in the adage, “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today.  Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.”  But there is something missing from that adage.  If you do teach him to fish but don’t allow him access to the pond, he will still go hungry.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. zoe Webber permalink
    July 27, 2011 8:02 pm

    I love that last part you put there Barry, allowing to fish in the pond, how true is that!! blessings to all!! have a wonderful day!

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