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How do you give lasting help to those who most need it?

If you see a man passed out drunk at the side of the road, or a woman in distress in the street, what can a person do, right then and there, to give meaningful help? Give money? Take them home and feed them? Give them a job somewhere? Does that even work? So many people are suffering as institutional systems to help them break down, but what can ordinary people do to fill in that gap? So many people are suffering for very complex reasons that a single meal or a day's wages can't solve, and a mere kind word can't even touch, and I believe that's one reason why so few people even try to effect a change, and yet our economy is throwing more people into this situation by the day.

What can we do right now for the next person we see suffering that would be truly meaningful?

Topics: philanthropy

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    Nov 4 2011: The worst thing to do for those people is to spoon feed them. The best way to help them is to prep them to help themselves....so rather than giving them money show them or teach them a skill that will earn them money so they can be productive members of society. I will give an example...In australia...where i am currently living, the government basically gives its natives everything...rather than educating them and giving them skills that will be a benefit to their society. As a result of this approach, the natives are still impoverished, if the governement was to stop its weekly monetary assistance to the aboriginal groups, they wouldnt survive and would most likely die off. I am all for helping people and i have my own charity project, but i believe in teaching the people how to make a table by instructing them rather than me doing it for them. That way they dont need me next time and they can teach each other. (thats just an analogy).
    • Nov 4 2011: That's interesting and makes me wonder. Once upon a time, people had these skills. They were allowed to die off as people became more specialized. Nowadays, so many people who used to work in highly specialized jobs are unemployed because those jobs went away. Perhaps it's time to get back to being good at lots of things?
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        Nov 4 2011: Yea times have changed...especially with the world's population increasing the way that it has been. Leaving in the United States, one has to be good at a lot of different things. But in australia where the population is 22 million, every specialization has a place and as long as you have a skill, you will be employed. Even if you are self-employed you will be successful. I am currently a student but i am considering opening a business in Melbourne's center and with how everything is here, i am sure it would be a success if its set up in the right way of course.

        And with today's things, i would say if someone is specialized in a specific area, they should be afraid to travel to different parts of the world to find work. I mean i understand the fear, but with the right connections (as in forming international friendships) it could work out.

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