When trying to solve a problem that generates passion, one needs to use caution. The first response is to immediately jump in and create something that will scratch the itch. The thought then becomes, let’s do something that we believe is going to be helpful and solve the problem. We quickly round up the troops, finances, and whatever else we need, then execute. It makes us feel good and we believe we’ve done something wonderful. And we may have. But often endeavors that aren’t well thought out just create more concerns. Why? Because we sometimes fail to dig down to the real problem. We just attack the symptom. And until the real problem is addressed the symptoms just keep surfacing. A good example is all the money that’s been thrown into feeding the hungry in Africa. You can throw all the money into it you want, but until things like the political climate changes you’re going to have hunger in Africa. My guess is that few other countries have received the financial aid that Africa has, and yet there is still a huge hunger issue. You can read a great article on that here.
That’s why at Friendship we’re trying to take our time when it comes to overcoming generational poverty in Athens, AL. Part of our vision casting for the next 50 years. That’s why we’ve spoken to city officials to see what the real picture is verses our perceived needs. At a time when I, along with others, are jumping at the bit to get something started… I realize the wisdom in defining the real problem, becoming a student of an issue then studying healthy models around the United States.
We’re interested in a holistic approach to generational poverty. No one has figured out all the pieces yet but we’re getting closer. Here is one holistic model that I think has the feel and some of the pieces of what I’ve envisioned. It’s complex. It’s expensive. But I’m sure it didn’t start that way. We’ll need to start small and gain momentum. Speed learn off of others. Starting too soon without due diligence often produces a poor product. I recently read that a great marketing strategy for a poor product only makes it fail faster.