Many organizations and groups are doing wonderful charity and aid work in and for Jamaica. Others are providing scholarships, information, support and valuable networking opportunities. Some, like restoration project under Lorna Stanley in Trench Town, in my opinion in the top three, are on the front lines impeding the growth of the crime production factory. And some like Upliftment Jamaica, with proper guidance and focus can be a major tool in uplifting the man in the hill and country. To become more effective in their pursuits, these organizations and groups should be aware of and thus protect against becoming the saboteurs of their good works. With the aid of divination, some relevant factors involved are presented here.
It is important to note that charity and aid, especially when sourced from governments have not been shown to effectively and efficiently reduce poverty. Many economists have noted in numerous studies that such donations do not improve long-term living standards nor improve economic growth at all. Brett Schaefer, economist at the Heritage Foundation, recently showed that of 77 nations receiving aid totaling more than 1% of their GDP between 1980 and 2001, 33 experienced a decline in real per-person GDP, while shockingly, only eight grew at a rate faster than 3%. (Investors Business Daily). This directly contradicts the prevailing opinion and actions of many, but the world indeed is rife with inexplicable and phenomenal contradictions. Charity and aid organizations should really examine their goals, mission statements and desired outcomes because if ther are providing mere aid in the form of supplies, food and cash and other consumables outside of a scripted agenda without some required performance indicator, they are not contributing to the long term goal of economic development, self-reliance and nation building. Indeed their well-intentioned efforts may be eroding hard earned gains on the path to national growth.
Let me first say that I am of the school of philosophy that believes strongly in teaching a man how to fish after he, when hungry, has been given a fish. Solomon, the acknowledged wise man said “put a knife to your throat if you love to receive gifts” meaning that receiving gifts can do more harm than good. If you study the psychological, social and developmental effects of continuous aid and charity and its effects on individual recipients and national economies, some shocking revelations become uncomfortably apparent. Here, in my opinion, are what some of those effects are:
1. Continuous aid weakens the recipient’s faith, confidence and belief in himself, to work, strive,
and attain goals and assets that the aid allows him to accumulate. “Why should I work if someone is paying my bills and covering my expenses”.? Indeed a state of lack is a powerful motivator to the competitive spirit of the human being and thus not always negative. This concept of having an entity earn its own way is familiar to human development but many charities seem to completely abandon its significance.
2. Continuous aid and charity creates an inferiority complex in the mind of the recipient and he
subconsciously believes that the donor is superior to him. This is especially true in many third world countries where there is a prevailing opinion that products developed at home is inferior to those overseas
3. Continuous aid and charity likewise creates a superiority syndrome in the mind of the donor and he subconsciously believes that the recipient is inferior to him. Consequeltly, you can see this aura of subconscious and often conscious feeling of superiority which many mistakenly call racism. Now perceptive minds understand why experts in their field from the third world are not respected when they migrate to the so-called developed countries. If you give the man on the street corner a dollar every week you will not and should not respect any advice he gives you about investments. Truth is parrallel at different levels.
4. When you break the competitive human spirit of one man, one family, one village, one community, one city and one country, you deprive the nation of benefitting from the competitive spirits and efforts of a people. It is an undeniable fact that the earth thrives on competition. Inventions, patents and advances in medicine and the sciences, are aided by the competitive human spirit. The stronger that competitive spirit, the greater are the chances for progress. This is the reason why immigrants in any country around the world tend to outperform the locals. Their competitive spirit is stronger than the locals because they subconsciously and consciously know they have more lessons to learn, more adaptation to encounter and more knowledge to digest than those who already have walked these paths. This is an undeniable fact! Continuous aid and charity breaks the human spirit of competitiveness and because of this the next point follows.
5. Continuous aid and charity helps to keep individuals and countries in perpetual states of
underdevelopment. Let me say though, that this statement does not mean leaving a country or village or community to find prosperity by it own strength, rather a combination of aid / scholarship / knowledge is the path of best compromise. For example Jamaica does not have enough experts to take over its Bauxite industry after how many years? All the aid from Alcoa and Alcan and Reynolds have kept us from even offering courses in bauxite and aluminium manufacturing, exporting and marketing because the “gowament” seems to be satisfied with the levy, I mean aid.
6. Aid donors commonly make the mistake of not setting strict standards of progress in some project or using some measurable personal development criteria, for any follow-up aid gifts, thus creating a welfare mentality. You can see many examples at work in Jamaica. What the nation needs, are youths with strong faith, minds of steel, the perserverance and persistence of a starving hunter and other traits, but when these are absent, then the next point follows.
7. Continuous aid and charity diverts the attention of the recipient away from his strengths, contributing directly to further under-development. Jamaica was a historical powerhouse in sugar production but because the Europeans gave us aid in the form of above market prices, the sugar industry became lazy and shortsighted and did not focus sufficiently on research, increasing competitiveness, increasing productivity and seeking new markets all traits of long-term aid business recipients, leading directly to the undedevelopment of the sugar industry and an inability to compete on the world market when the aid / charity was finaly rightly challenged and removed. I have not studied this but I would not be surprised to find a corelation between the European sugar subsidy (aid) and the decline in the local sugar productivity. Someone please help me with this one. The Europeans were paying us above market prices for sugar for decades and now that the world court have ruled, quite correctly that this was illegal, the Jamaican government is talking about suing and the ministers are screaming and calling for demonstrations. Say for instance you stop giving the bum on the street corner a weekly ten dollars because you wife says that it was not fair to the family and it should go to your son’s college fund. Would it not be shocking to see the bum threatening to stone you everytime you past that way? Do you see why the country is in the state it is in? We do not need Michael Fairanks to come from overseas and tell us this for us to wake up. We have know this for decades and refuse to act because we have become addicted to placing the party above the country.
8. Aid donors who have become enlightenned and are interested in the true welfare of the recipients also make the mistake of thinking that they can place their own desire inside the consciousness of the recipient (i.e. they have a greater desire for the recipient to advance than the recipient has for himself and can literally hijack the will of the recipient!) Such lackadaisical persons should be left to their own delusions and worthy participants should be engaged.
9. When the recipient has become dependent on the donor then the donor develops an ungodly attitude and often makes demands which he thinks are for the good of the recipient (i.e. he assumes a god-like position and creates standards for the relationship without often consulting the recipient.) Again you can see examples of this all over the world. A recent one involves the USA setting up a child trafficking body and rules without consulting (I do not know who they consulted) Jamaica and then imposing the standards on Jamaica and saying that if the government does not comply they will cut off aid and pressure the World Bank and IMF to take negative positions when considering funding for Jamaica. What a ridiculous state of affairs this is. If one examine the USA carefully, one could make the case that it leads the world in human trafficking and has done so since the days of slavery when it trafficked the African citizens to its shores. The numerous amount of massage parlors in Manhattan filled with Asians are well know to all Manhattanhites. They have beautiful advertisements in the Village newspaper all the time and I cannot recall the last police raiding operation against them. Maybe the way to clean up the crime industry in Jamaica is for the US state department to announce that they will reduce aid to Jamaica and put the country on the terrorist watch list if it does not reduce the murder rate by 75% and get the illegal guns off the streets so its tourist citizens can feel safe!
10. Continuous aid and charity subconsciously makes the recipient feel that he owes the donor a favor and makes him hesitate to challenge the actions and statements of his donor, that he disagrees with. Examples of this abound worldwide as in cases when the USA and China pressures small states to vote on their side at the UN or when the communist countries who used to vote as a bloc regardless of the topic, take the same side against the USA. Cuba is a perfect example of this. Charity weakens the negotiating power and aggressiveness of the recipients.
11. Perhaps the greatest mistakes made by aid donors like the Salvation Army, Red Cross and individuals like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett is to not seek to develop in the recipients, those same characteristics which help contribute to their own success. In other words, they are happy to have the poor depending on them, as it massages their egos. They, for the most part, will not empower the poor. Perhaps for good reason though, as many believe that the poor will always be with us. Nevertheless, here are some of the attributes that contributed to the success of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett:
(a). The habit of doing more than being paid for.
(b). Your success lies with the things that you love or would do without being paid.
(c). Finding someone who has been successful in the field you choose, and making that person your mentor – never accept no or rejection from them.
(d). Your imagination is creation- (this is much deeper than ‘think and grow rich’).
(e). Learning from failure, never be defeated by it.
(f). Whatever you choose as a career / business, study it until you know it and understand it better than 90% of the persons in that field.
(h). Self-control – hold your seed; having children unprepared and or out of wedlock leads directly to poverty.
(i). Surround yourself with a mastermind group of individuals who are, if possible, all smarter than you.
(j). Whenever possible, hedge or insure yourself and all your investments. Warren Buffet one of the three best stock market investors in the world today, (the other two are George Soros and George Fontanills) never buys stock without using insurance (called stock options) to reduce the chances of loss through price depreciation. This one point alone is worth $5000. Risk reduction is vital for wealth accumulation which would mean that all those brilliant people at the Jamaican Stock Exchange and Dehring Bunting and Golding and JMMB and all the others, are operating like amateurs and poorly trained, unsophisticated financial “experts.”
12. Aid donors too, make the grave mistake of believing that their charity efforts are the same as mentoring. Confusing charity with mentoring is very common. The ultimate true test of a successful mentorship takes place when the mentor relocates. If mentoree cannot duplicate the strategies and lessons learned, then the process was never mentoring at all ,or if it was, then it a miserable failure.
13. Aid donors too are all completely ignorant of another way and approach to poverty. The greatest
positive impact obtained from giving is experienced when one learns to give up -not down, i.e give to someone in a more powerful and knowledgeable position. The reason though why this technique is not widely known, is that only specialized and highly skilled persons can use and apply it, and there are few places in the world where this is taught. The persons who are qualified to use this technique are those after the order of Elijah the Prophet who did not give any aid or charity to a starving woman he encountered, but instead asked her for her most prized possession which at the time was her last meal. However, because she believed and obeyed, the prophet gave her a distinct plan to raise herself out of her poverty. Untrained and unqualified aid donors are warned not to try this at all but be aware that there is another way.
14. And lastly, we all know that aid and gifts are not treated with the same respect and protection as rewards earned with sweat, blood and tears. This is a natural reaction and one of the fundamental laws of nature.
So in all community poverty reduction programs, agencies must be careful not to cripple the people with their good intentions. Addiction to aid and charity is just another form of the massa. Alas too many of the points made can be readily seen in the Jamaican experience. There is a culture of begging that the massa experience embedded in the consciousness of many and the nation will never, ever become a true independent nation or a profitable one until the lessons of giving, true sacrifice, delayed self-gratification, and a love for self is taught in the parliament, at all levels of the ministeries, in every church and schools and colleges in the nation. But perhaps the most limiting factor is the debilitating family home environment of hundreds of thousands of single parent homes giving us the malcontents, angry, misfits who think that they are “badmen”, when they just need the hurture of a father’s love and attention. This is the area in which the need is greatest. Will some charity step up since the church will not?
The most astute readers of this article will immediately see the benefits of being a gift giver. If you want to undermine an enemy give him a gift ,but not just any gift. Give him the one that he needs most especially if he cannot locate it. Obviously then, giving can be a strategic competitive tool useful in business and many other relationships but that discussion is only for advanced minds. There are many other applications of this universal truth, but wisdom is not free, and only those who pay the price for advancement will appreciate it wholly. john anthony [email protected]