Good intentions misaligned

When we are working on big issues like ending poverty – any big systemic issue – we need to start with the biggest view possible, ideally, with the whole.

In the interim we may need to provide symptom care in the field. Food, education, charity.

That we even need charity is a reflection of a broken system. Can we consider a design that eliminates the need for charity?

It is easy to be the white knight out to rescue the people in distress. But before we rush in with our noble intentions, we must consider the whole. Know the field. Diagnose the systemic issues. Understand the precessional effects of our actions.

This is not about delay to get a perfect plan, as no plan will be perfect. This is about comprehensively considering the effects of the plan.

What behaviours are we incentivising? 

Do the people have the capability and capacity to handle the change. A lotto millionaire statistically will be back to where they were before they won their millions because they do not have the capacity to handle the financial windfall.

When we are working to uplift humanity, the degree of complexity increases, as humans do not follow a logical rule book. 

A question to consider is are you seeking to solve the big systemic issues, or do you wish to be providing symptomatic care, or something in-between? To know the difference is a start.

Good intentions misaligned can create more problems than they sort to solve.

To speed up we might need to slow down.

Photo taken May 31st, 2019

 

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