Socks are not enough: Social justice lies upstream from charity | rabble.ca
Please click this link to read a great and inspiring article on Rabble.ca by Cathy Crowe: Source link: Socks are not enough: Social justice lies upstream from charity | rabble.ca
There is a parable called Upstream Downstream that has guided me in my work as a street nurse. It’s about visiting health care workers in a developing country. Standing by a riverbed they suddenly see bodies floating down the river. Frantically, they start pulling the bodies out and begin resuscitation. When they look up they see a continual flow of bodies down the river. They call for help and keep pulling the bodies onto the riverbank and apply CPR. Finally, one of them asks: “Who or what is upstream pushing the bodies into the river?”
This time of year people are always asking me what they can do to help the homeless. Where can they help to serve a Christmas dinner in a shelter? What organization can they collect socks for? Is it okay to hand out sandwiches or bags with toiletries to homeless people who are lying on the sidewalk downtown?
I have a formula to help answer those questions and it’s based on the notion that social justice involves more than charity. Socks are not enough.