Hello Compassionate's, How are you? I hope you are well.
A person in Social Nation a group on Face Book to help one another in our Social Impact Businesses asked a very good question, Have we thought about if there is a down side to our businesses, the example was used of the 3d printer that can build a cement house for around 4k, in the quest to create affordable housing would that have a large bad impact then good? Would that mean job losses for those who build houses, a hit for the lumber companies?
You would think that these businesses would see the changing times and adapt to stay in business but it is a question worth thinking about in our daily lives are we helping or hurting? The reason I relate to this so much is in a story of a butterfly, I don't remember where or when I heard it or who told it but the important part stayed with me.
A person is out walking in the woods, when they notice a chyestailist, the butterfly is making it way free but seems to be struggling, the person with out stopping to think, acts out of compassion and helps to free the butterfly, but the butterfly needs that struggle to strengthen their wings so they are strong enough to fly, with out knowing it, the person's help hurt the butterfly so the wings where beautiful but useless.
The point that stayed with me is that sometimes we are like the butterfly needing to get through the struggle to have beautiful and strong wings and other times we must pause and think if we are the person helpful and compassionate meaning well but doing more harm then good.
We as Social Impact businesses desire to help solve problems but if just starting out we must ask our areas of service what can we do to help or we may create more harm.
In the Bible the saying is give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for life.
We must think of both of these even if not a social impact business, but every day if we take free meals to help feed the homeless as good as that is are we still seeking a way to help and empower them to feed themselves like a free plot in a community garden with some one teaching them about gardening, or access to mental health services, sustainable affordable housing and maybe if able helping with getting them work, I know a few who every day have a shopping cart and get scrap metal and take it to the scrap yard, the money isn't that high but I know they share the food they buy with it to help their other homeless friends.
Many programs that fund free meal programs and free clothes for interviews have had funding cut and donations drop, to often we see leaders try a one size fits all way to solve the problem and it doesn't work, a big blow to something that could have helped was just cut the money it needed and that was to increase the reach of mental health, something we all deal with, depression is something we all get touched by in our lives not always so deep that you can't face going outside but when we lose loved ones we feel that first wave of overwheleming saddness, not every one needs pills to get moving forward, for some time starts to move you forward, I will not claim healed but like the butterfly the struggle has strengthened you to be able to fly, and from your grief you also learn to let the wind current carry you so you soar.
If we stop looking at life as a race or the whole keep up to the Jones's we can do a lot more soaring, we can take time to enjoy life, help each other, worry less about getting a head, we can take better care of our over all health, and remember for the days we are granted we are in life together.
Ubuntu - I am because we are. That group of youth that didn't race to the basket but joined hands and walked to it together sat in a circle and each enjoyed the fruit, not leaving any one behind but together and we can too, we must remember tribes like theirs are slower in life for a reason, not how it's under developed but keeping the connection with mother earth and each other.
How did we get on to this fast track? How did we lose our way? Did we stop and think if there was a bad side to what we where doing?
As far as the 3d printer building homes, I think some jobs are created in building the printer and mixing cement but again I am no expert and never claim to be, I would hope that if a down side is a loss of jobs maybe another social impact business could offer jobs of planting trees, or empowering those who have lost their jobs to go into business.
Yes struggle can be painful, yes some times we wish some one could help end the pain and help us but we don't want useless wings so since we can speak when we ask for help, we can express what we feel we need help with, not for us with out us, by community for community. Let's listen to each other and take time to think first.
As Always Be Blessed, Stay Safe and Peace.