There are just a few things I’m becoming more and more uncomfortable with. I’m told I’m wet behind the ears and haven’t developed my platform enough to voice a strong opinion but I think that’s what makes my perspective worth listening to. They say I’m just good at developing the theory but the actual practice is much different and that’s where my problem begins.
Theory drives the practice.
We can’t afford to do things we’ve always done. We can’t afford to continually rely on past experiences to wholly shape how we do things today. There are some things just not working. We can’t just have good hearts and a good idea and hope to make a lasting impact on others. Evaluation and accountability create an environment of best practices supported by the basic idea that people are people and their life no matter how it comes into our life is of extreme value.
We all have choices and try as we might we can’t control the choices others make however we do have extreme influence. I’m not really deterred by the lame statement that teen pregnancies are the decline. Something is not working if young women have repeated unplanned pregnancies. Something is missing from our positive influence in their lives. Something is not working if teen mothers still have low educational attainment but yet we keep pushing the No Child Left Behind propaganda. We can’t continue to provide substandard environments and expect such a low percentage to escape the grips of generational poverty.
It’s time to raise the bar in shelters and housing. It’s time to raise the bar in the professionalism of staff. It’s time to raise the bar on expected outcomes. It’s time for a change in attitude toward those we serve.
It is complicated and hard to peel back that which we’ve always believed to be true. I believe we have fallen into this mindset hat somehow all those in need created their problems themselves. That somehow all those in need have done something to deserve their station in life.
I believe this shift in our thinking begins with the simple premise that we are all created in the image of God and what God creates is good.