[OSList] Teach Them to Fish / A Note to My Friends
hhowen at verizon.net
Sat Feb 25 11:43:07 PST 2012
Bernd - No problem. Totally understand where you are coming from. At the end
of the day if you empower someone, by whatever means or degree - you have,
at least to some real extent, dis-empowered them. Or at the very least,
further encumbered their situation. All that said there are indeed times
when the ONLY thing you can do in the moment is hand out a fish. Starving
people, still less dead ones - don't learn very well. to fish or anything
else. However, if your actions end with fish distribution, or almost as
destructive, you do teach them to fish, but then hover over their shoulders
to make sure they do it RIGHT, well that is a different kettle of fish
(sorry about that J). Maybe there is a sequence here - Fish Distributors,
Fishing Teachers, and then "Gone fish 'in" - looking for other fish to fry.
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From: oslist-bounces at lists.openspacetech.org
[mailto:oslist-bounces at lists.openspacetech.org] On Behalf Of Bernhard Weber
Sent: Saturday, February 25, 2012 1:24 AM
To: World wide Open Space Technology email list
Subject: Re: [OSList] Teach Them to Fish / A Note to My Friends
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
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
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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