TED Conversations

Hugo Papenfus

MAC911

This conversation is closed.

We are helping the poor and educating the helpless......Shouldn't we be Educating the poor and helping the helpless?

There is a HUGE difference between being POOR and being HELPLESS. We are helping the poor by giving the milk for free. Why would they buy the cow if they get the milk for free? Shouldn't we educate them on rich thoughts? Some people are poor by either poverty created over which they don't have control, or some are poor by choice.
Then we have the helpless....the disabled.....the children that have no power over the actions of adults etc. We always seem to educate them on how to help themselves, or how to get help......shouldn't we rather help THEM instead of helping the poor that can actually help themselves as well?

Share:
  • thumb
    Aug 19 2011: We should be educating the poor AND the helpless.
    And we should be helping the helpless, but this includes the poor.
    • Aug 19 2011: I feel that you have completely ended the debate with these two short sentences. Well done! :)
    • thumb
      Aug 22 2011: Yeah well said Eun.
  • thumb
    Aug 19 2011: Hi Hugo,

    If you let a child wait to get her milk until she or her parents are educated, then damage will be done to her brain and body that will limit her abilities to develop and learn in the future.

    I suggest you think of what is being done to children who are deprived of what they need to grow and development as "slow violence". When people are crippled or killed by "slow violence", the effect is just as bad as it is when it results from faster acting violence.

    Poverty is associated with many types of need, one of which is often ignorance. But, there are also other types of need associated with poverty. The elimination of poverty does not occur through an either/or strategy (either, "help" or "education"), but through a strategy aimed at overcoming all of the needs that poverty is associated with.
  • Aug 28 2011: We should educate everyone instead, and give basic human needs to those that need it.
  • Aug 25 2011: The only humans that are truly helpless, are CHILDREN!! Come on folks, we all know that the world is a very unfair place! We are sitting around and debating our bodies and our new awareness? ( give me a break ) The children in this world, in EVERY country, well pretty much screwed! Crap, grown humans are so weird and so self indulgent!! I am so sorry if you had a tough child hood! Get over it and stop being a poet! Help a child that made the mistake of picking a stupid parent! Help a child that goes to bed hungry and beat up! Man, humans are so weird!!
  • thumb
    Aug 21 2011: Well, all the comments so far has just build the statement even further.....

    Currently the world is so wound up in helping the poor and the helpless, that they forget to teach them how to help themselves....Thus only growing the percentage of poverty. The problem with poverty is that it is measured by the growing standards of living of the middle class and the rich. At first poverty was if people did not have food, then the world added some more factors like.....housing, electricity, running water, Toilets, and currently they add some more......pretty soon you will be poor if you don't have a cellphone, computer, car....etc. So how will we ever get rid of poverty if the term grows with the advancing human race? Real poverty lies in the lack of education and logic thinking, and not in material things.

    Helping and educating children of whom the parents can not or of whom the parents are absent, is a different story......I did not say we should take away the help of any of the two distinctions, but simply move the focus from throwing resources into a never ending pool, to a strategy with a positive and meaningful outcome.

    There is a difference between not being able to help yourself YET,....and being helpless......
  • Aug 20 2011: The answer is "neither"...I would want the whole world to be well educated and super smart. That would create a far better planet to live on. However, in reality, it is impossible because it would ruin the politics of the world's capitalist super powers. Keeping most of the world poor, helpless and uneducated is what makes these super powers "super"!!

    If those people become well fed and well educated, they will not fight, nor starve. They will focus on developing their countries in every way and won't be dependent on the super powers anymore. Do you people really think the western world would want this to happen? Ofcourse not!! They want the poor nations to be the way they are so they can sell them weapons and all kinds of products (medical, agricultural, textile, technological...etc) It is also easier to exploit the natural resources and the labor if they stay weak and helpless...

    We are all forgetting that the western "civilization" is built by exploiting and looting the most helpless and poorest people of this world; and still, it continues to be that way.
    • thumb
      Aug 21 2011: Exactly.....That is why poverty increases.
  • thumb
    Aug 19 2011: Howdy! Education helps everyone - the poor and the helpless. Period. Meanwhile, there are genuine cases of need where help has to be provided, as you say, the disabled, the vulnerable, the weak, the powerless.

    “...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped."
    - Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey
  • thumb

    Sean T

    • 0
    Aug 19 2011: I think what you're trying to get at is that the poor lack a strong education to change their socio-economic standing from "poor" to "middle class." The problem is that the public education receives its funding from local taxes with a little federal assistance. Since the poor tend to be "rounded up" through economics into specific regions, the individual schools providing education receive less funding and therefore can't afford new text books and equipment.

    In order to provide that in the current system, those schools would require more funding. Even then, the results may be less dramatic than expected. Providing a better education would certainly help in the effort to make them less poor, but there is a finite amount of money and even less of it is circulated regularly. By educating them, you would most likely make another portion of the populace poor or they would remain poor because the education just wasn't enough for the change.
  • thumb
    Aug 19 2011: And how do you educate the helpless to put makeup on with their feet? How can we educate the disabled if we are not self disabled? they educate themselves on that........ The point is that we don't educate the poor we help them with giving everything to them.......we educate the people whom we classify as helpless, and they don't really need our help....at least not to educate them on helping themselves. Have you ever seen how irritated a disabled person gets when you try to help them because you think they are helpless?
  • thumb
    Aug 19 2011: I am not sure what you mean by educating the poor "on rich thoughts" Are you saying that the poor lack rich thoughts? That rich thoughts are more important for the poor than giving them milk?

    I agree with Raimondo that both education and support of other kinds are important for the poor, for children, and for the disabled.
  • thumb
    Aug 19 2011: Education is help so what's the point in making this distinction. Education can lift people out of poverty and empower people to take control of their lives and situations. I saw a thalidomide blowdrying her hair and putting on makeup with her feet. She even drives. Helpless is a relative term and can be overriden by educating the "helpless".
  • thumb
    Aug 19 2011: that will be even better Eun A Jo......even better.....