Friday Food for Thought: An Oath

From Robert Lupton’s Toxic Charity:

The Oath for Compassionate Service

  • Never do for the poor what they have (or could have) the capacity to do for themselves.
  • Limit one-way giving to emergency situations.
  • Strive to empower the poor through employment, lending, and investing, using grants sparingly to reinforce achievements.
  • Subordinate self-interests to the needs of those being served.
  • Listen closely to those you seek to help, especially to what is not being said–unspoken feelings may contain essential clues to effective service.
  • Above all, do no harm.

p. 8-9

CFA encourages the consideration of these questions as you look to serve with the community:

  • Who has the power?
  • Is there a level playing field?
  • Is the relationship equitable?
  • Who is the beneficiary?
  • Is it empowering?  For whom?
  • Which is most likely to produce sustainable change?
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