Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Utility of Humanity


I don’t like this languaging. 

A lot of times in non-profits dealing with people who are homeless, disabled, blind, disadvantaged, abused, neglected, mentally ill, human trafficking victims, domestic violence victims, suffering from cancer, low-to-no-income… It always comes back to this languaging. “We help to ensure these people will obtain Self-Sufficiency so they can be happy, productive members of society.”

You have to understand if you want to get people to donate to your cause you have to generically convince a mass audience that what you’re doing is worthwhile.

And what’s the one thing all people agree is important: MONEY. Not just success and happiness, but MONEY. Because if someone’s making money –then they’re good and there life is swell and you need not concern yourself with them further. Just put them through the process, crank out the machine, and make them duplicated business people.

Don’t leave them a burden. 

Don’t leave them a stain on society. 

Don’t leave them a mess for somebody to clean up. 

An obligation. 

An annoying inconvenience.

So there’s this languaing that develops where it is understood: You are NOT and end in and of yourself. You are a means to an end and all people want is for you to be useable. We want you to be malleable, productive, and contributory. We want to invest in you, so we can make a return and get something back for ourselves.

At no point is it ever said, “This child was abused at a young age, had parents that neglected them and did drugs, and was later trafficked on the streets for profit. Let’s CARE for this person and see their wounds healed. Let’s see them brought peace, fulfillment, and have a vision for a Real future. Let’s hand them back all that was taken and more.”

It is only said, “Let’s make this at-risk, troubled youth productive and stable so they can achieve self-sufficiency.”

Empowering someone to lead their own lives in a meaningful way is not the same as making sure they hold down a 9-to-5 job and calling it good. 

Humans that are silent, invisible, broken, and vulnerable are only spoken of in the language of Utility.

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