9.13.2009

How Much Do You Care?

Welcome, Creative Minority readers!

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." - John Maxwell

This is one of my mom's favorite quotes. She reminds me of it often, and today I found it to be true.

A man approached me while I was working at my new favorite haunt--a coffee shop filled with the liberal, hipster types. I never turn down a connection, so it wasn't long before we were discussing the plight of Atlanta's underprivileged. Naturally, the conversation took a political turn towards the different approaches of conservatives and liberals to help said group.

More than once, he referenced his belief that conservatives sit back in an arm-folded stance when it comes to reaching out to the underprivileged of society. He got that conservatives don't want government to intervene in aiding these groups, as a general rule, through welfare, health care, etc. My response: We believe it should be individuals and organizations that head up such efforts. His response: "But how many of them are actually doing that?"

It's a valid question.

How many conservatives believe that the federal government should have a limited role in caring for the "needs" of those who are not providing for themselves? Most of us, right? But like he said, are we willing to take an active role in helping these folks see how they can do it for themselves?

I hope so. As a conservative, I think it's a shame that it's the liberal-types who seem to have cornered the market on showing "compassion" towards the underprivileged. I hope that my generation of conservatives can alter that perspective. I think we can--one life at a time.

After sharing my story, he began telling me about a group he founded that could potentially help fund Metro Kidz. Whoa. Wait. A primarily-liberal group offering to fund a ministry-based outreach program? That's change I can believe in! And, it came about not because of my telling him how much I know--touting conservative policies, rhetoric, and such--but because he saw how much I cared.

I wonder how much more effectively we could all work together, if our starting point was showing others how much we cared rather than trying to prove how much we know?

Keep dreamin' those big dreams.

4 comments:

  1. Suzanna - I have seen that most of the animosity and distrust dissipates as soon as you get to the heart of it:

    "I want to help people TOO - we're just disagreeing on what will help them the most, the most effectively, and the most permanently."

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  2. Anonymous15.9.09

    Talk is cheap, truly it is... Enjoy your Journey to you Suzanna - Go forward!

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  3. Just look at churches and their outreaches. That's where you see conservatives do their outreaches for those who need it. You just never hear about them because they don't toot their own horns. They're too busy doing God's work.

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  4. Anonymous23.9.09

    Having breakfast with my daughter in Atlanta we got spare changed in the parking lot, My policy has been no cash, just food and we asked him to eat with us. He said he just needed to get some things to clean up for a job interview and asked if we would buy him toiletries at the Kroger next door. We did and threw in lunch makings and gave the guy a hug and a prayer. Will it make a difference in his life. I hope so. Did it make a difference in mine. I hope so. God gives the opportunites to reach out to individuals, to touch their hearts and get connected, even for a minute.
    You are the only other person besides my daughter who knows this now. Give in secret, not for the praise.
    The problem with the government doing for people what they should be individually responsible for is that it is not charity when you give away other people's money it is theft.
    If you trust God to meet your needs, you should also expect him to know and meet the needs of others.
    I agree with your Mom by the way

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