[OSList] Teach Them to Fish / A Note to My Friends

Bernhard Weber weberb at gmx.at
Fri Feb 24 22:24:19 PST 2012


I have been living so long under conditions where the giver/beggar word pairing is not only a metaphor (Beira is the capital of Sofala province in Mozambique), so I had to deal with the problem also at a very practical level and on base of that I want to say:

I fully agree 
and would like to complete something that I wrote in my last posting in answering what Artur has written. 

Yes the giver-beggar relation creates conditions for helplessness and continued dependence and subservience. And yes, the dynamics is independent from altruistic intentions.
And I would complete, if you have a feeling for yourself and/or a spiritual perspective this means, such kind of giving is also bad for the giver, his/her mental costume and/or karma.

But when I wrote in my last posting: sometimes you should also give the fish (meaning that nobody who is starved can learn) isn't that a contradiction?
Yes it is, but
a) contradictions as such are not necessarily bad. At least they are good for triggering thinking processes if not for more (like being a basic ingredient for self-organization, this also refers to the dissence-thread of this groups)
b) it all depends on the real process. If temporary dependence is a price for helping out from helplessness so that further steps can follow, like learning, like disappearing of the giver, teacher, blurring/integrating of roles to teacherlearners and learnerteachers, I would say it is an acceptable price


On Feb 24, 2012, at 3:01 AM, Harrison Owen wrote:

> The secondary point may be less than obvious. When you are simply handed a fish the conditions for learned helplessness and continued dependence, to say nothing of subservience are created. Even with the best, most altruistic intentions in the world, a fish handout has its problems. 

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