Wednesday, June 9, 2010


A certain loved one has told me that I'm sounding a bit too pompous and arrogant in my blog posts lately. Hmm. Lord knows, I don't feel pompous and arrogant. My readers have always been friends who know me pretty well . . but I seem to be getting different readers these days. I guess I need to be more mindful of how I might sound to a stranger who wouldn't hear my voice when they read these words.

In particular, they thought my earlier post about not understanding poor people could be insulting to some. I was concerned about that -- I specifically did NOT want to come across as a know-it-all judgmental snob who thought I could fix everyone's problems. That was my point in that post -- I clearly don't know it all. There are obviously details about living in poverty that I am completely clueless about.

A friend emailed me about that post and explained to me her situation and the difficulties of getting out of financial pits. And THAT's what I was hoping to hear. Keith and I were talking last night about how incredibly blessed we have been. But we are blessed to be a blessing. I have felt burdened lately to be doing more to help those "less fortunate". But how is the big question.

I read a fantastic book a while back: When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert. Everyone should read this book. He talks about how often people step in to try to help the poor, but, because they don't really understand the dynamics and culture of poverty, they end up actually hurting more than they help. That's me -- as I said in my post, I don't understand . . . and I'm liable to make a situation worse with my efforts.

So, how do I come to understand? I guess that requires spending time with people, getting to know them and their circumstances on a more intimate level. Now to figure out how to make that happen. I mean, it's not like I can walk up to someone and say, "Hey! You look poor. Let me get to know you." Talk about pompous and arrogant.....


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted this. I had decided to never read another blog post after I read your post on poor people. I have problems with blogging in general...lots of talk, so little action. Lately, I've seen an individual post do people have time for this...unless their letting their (job) responsibilities go down the drain?

GJK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GJK said...

Anonymous (wish I knew who you were so I could respond more personally)--

I'm glad I posted it, too, and I'm glad you came back to read it. I'm very sorry if I offended. Since I've only ever promoted this blog to friends and family, it's become kind of a public conversation between me and them. I write about things that are on my mind and get comments from people I know. And most people who know me, I would hope, know my heart and would understand where I was coming from with this.

And rest assured that 15-20 minutes two or three times a week is not getting in the way of my responsibilities (now, I can't say the same about my puzzle addiction, unfortunately!). For me, this is like journaling. It's helps me organize the many thoughts that swirl through my mind -- plus gives me some writing practice -- and ultimately motivates me to action, which I agree is more important. When I say these things "out loud" to others, I feel obligated to follow up. Plus, friends who comment often give me ideas for how to do that.

Again, I'm very sorry if you were offended. Feel free to email me if you want to talk more.

Anonymous said...

I am poor! YOu can come help me :-)
Actually volunteering for workcamps and meeting the families was the most eye opening of experiences for me.

Maybe it is the teacher in your that makes you sound like you know the answer?