How do you change people’s financial status for the better without weakening them?

Changing financial status for the better, what a convoluted term. The problem is finding a neutral term for something that can be very polarised. In fact it is this polarity that makes it such a hard thing to tackle. 

At one pole we have concepts like eradicating poverty or fighting poverty. These are attempts to change the financial status of others that focus on making sure that others are not in lack. Notice the idea that it is others who are in lack not the person with a particular financial status. In fact the people they are trying to help might not even realise that others see them as experiencing any form of lack. For them the situation might just be normal, a fact of life for people like them. This is where people look around see others below themselves and want to make an effort to lift them up. The tactics commonly seen in this approach involved handouts or giving people things such as sending a team in with enough resources to build a school or a healthcare centre. In other words doing things for people. 

At the other pole we have concepts like wealth building or creating financial success. These are also involve changing financial status but the approach is very different. This time you have people who have a desire to improve their financial status and are definitely looking for ways to do this. As it is a choice there are some people who you might not consider as being poor who want to pursue this approach. The tactics commonly seen in this approach are those used by the giddy up merchants. In other words those who provide the courses and other resources that help people help themselves. 

Of course those are the extremes. There are many points on the spectrum in between these extreme positions. Many projects are somewhere in the middle of these two poles.  

How do you build a fair society by helping improve the financial status, of those who are struggling?

There are two very different approaches to the issue of how to change the financial status i.e. improve the lives of those at the bottom of the economic heap. Problem is that people who are at one pole say that the approach of those at the other pole does not work.

At one end we have people who say all you need to do is take away from the rich and give to the poor. This could be done on a compulsory basis i.e. taxes or a voluntary basis i.e. charitable giving.  The money collected is then used to do things for the poor such as provide them with a basic income in the form of unemployment benefit. It could also provide them with life-changing amenities like clean water, education or healthcare. 

At the other end we have people who say what you need to do is help the haves nots become haves. Provide them with the tools and education they need to help themselves and then give them a kick up the backside to make them help themselves. 

How do you help change the financial status of others without weakening them further?

This is a tricky question because there are ways in which both approaches weaken people. If you keep on giving people things they can become spoilt brats constantly expecting things. People who have things without making much of an effort do not have the benefits that come from making an effort to gain things. On the  other hand if you push people too far too fast you end up making them feel incapable of achieving things so leave them feeling weak. 

See what I mean by tricky. At one end of the scale in terms of making an effort you have people who do not gain strength because they are just given things. They do not have a struggle so they end up weak and less able to help themselves. It is a case of why bother I have all that I need so why make the effort to do more. 

At the other end of the scale you have people who are are expected to do all sorts of things but find it is too much for them. It is that feeling that the obstacles are too high and the challenge too great that leaves them feeling weak. That sense that they could not do it last time creates a barrier that they then ave to overcome the next time they try to achieve that goal. Once you feel incapable or incompetent then you have to overcome that negativity before you can succeed. 

Somewhere in the middle there  has to be a place where people are challenged enough to gain strength without it being too great a challenge for them to be overwhelmed by it. The problem is that this place varies from person to person and from time to time even on their mood. It is definitely not an exact science. There is no one size fits all. The right diagnosis has to be made for the right situation. 


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