The old and the new
I just accidentally discovered a very interesting way to get some of the perspective I’ve been talking about in this blog.
Go to google images and type Poverty. Click on Find.
You’ll see what easterly and so many other’s have talked about. Stretched and exploited realities. Images hoping to inspire pitty that opens up pockets. Some images so painful, hoping to go deeper into the pocket. All of them reflecting helplessness. People who are unable to care for themselves, therefore need rescuing. Helplessness.
Now type Acumen next to the word Poverty. And click Find.
What you find now is also people who lack standard economic means, but in these pictures they are not covered in dirt and pleading for rescue. Go see the difference for yourself, scroll through the pictures.
These are the faces of dignity. People working, smiling, talking. Being people, coping with their situation.
One of the things the old approaches for eradicating poverty created, was actually a deeper forms of it in many ways. Stretching the concept of poverty to get ‘help’ from the outside is a vice that perpetuates the cycle of poverty by embedding it in culture.
Instead of perceiving themselves as helpless victims, Acumen treats people as customers or businesswomen. People with aspirations achievable by their own hard work and cleverness. Acumen is just there to provide the infrastructure they might need to get there or have a bigger impact. But there is no savior, there is no paternalism. Its a partnership. There is no charity, its actual business. Thats the start of dignity.