Thursday, November 15, 2012

Don't give...

...hand-outs.

A lot of us are willing, and mostly able, to give to others. Ok, before I go too far let me restate that maybe it's just a few of us that are willing to give whether or not we're able to.

For those of us who are willing and able to, I'd like you to take a step back the next time you want to give and ask yourself: "Is this going to be a 'hand-out' or a 'hand-up'?"


A few months ago, talking to a someone who works in a Food Bank, she shared how their mission is not to give their "clients" food & end there because that's just a hand-out. Their mission is broader - they target and tackle the root cause of why the person had to come to the Food Bank and give them information on resources that can help them.

A few months later, listening to Dr Cindy Trimm on 2012 Woman, thou art loosed Conference (www.wtal.org), she said that: "A lot of people want people to help them - and there is a difference between empowerment & enablement." Although each word is a synonym of the other, I understand her point & it got me thinking about my giving.

To add value to anyone's life, we need to help them help themselves not to make them dependent on you. We also need to be aware that the fact that you give someone a hand-up, doesn't mean that the person will see/receive it as one. Like Bishop TD Jakes said: "It is a waste to pour yourself into people who are leaking." So if you notice your hand-ups are taken as hand-outs, help the person identify and seal their leakages...so they can access and use information by and for themselves. It's like "teaching" a child to walk...no one can walk for a child, you can only model it.

Empowered women excel...and you excel as you empower more women... So be a good model - know who you are and help others around you know who they are so they can walk (& work) in that knowledge. Remember: "Knowledge is power" but only useful when you use it/act on it.

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