“I don’t just want to help the kids who will be okay no matter what.” – Joseph
I keep turning these words over and over in my head, since NOLA Joe (my co-founder in the WorkChops New Orleans project) said them to me this morning. I come from a similar place internally as I was the kid who had little with which to launch. I was white, nice looking, and got scholarships because I was naturally smart and a pretty good student, though. I was not dealt much more from birth, to be honest. The conditions I grew up in were horrible.
I’ve had some guilt over the years that my clientele with this biz were mostly wealthy kids who would likely “be okay no matter what.” I balanced all that guilt with near-constant community service in Dallas. Ironically, I have ended up serving people on both extreme ends of the financial security spectrum. What that has shown me is that no matter what your money situation looks like, all people struggle. Parents worry. Kids are pigeonholed in every environment and suffer as a result. People are constantly winning and failing, over and over, and hopefully: surviving it.
I’ve said many times that I think it’s as bad to hate on rich people as it is to hate on poor people. I believe most people are doing their best. The only thing that should divide us at this point in our history is who is caring and doing for others and who is preaching any words of exclusion and hatred.
Please look around you today, and ask yourself whether every single person you see builds love in your life or not. Discard the terrible ones – they don’t deserve you. Next, look at the ones that won’t “be okay no matter what.” If you know they won’t, I hope you will consider what you can do to give them any of your resources and afford them some opportunity. There has never been a better time to care for and consider others. I hope you can see that. I see that.
We’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring some skills-building programs to New Orleans’ poorest neighborhoods. Joe and I will be rolling those out beginning November 23, 2020. If you want to read about it, look here. To make a donation, click here. We are so grateful for any support!