Thursday, May 21, 2015

#Rednoseday #joykill

Somewhere in the Bible it says to give without over thinking it.
Screw it, I overthink it, but we give.
A co-worker alerted me that it is Red Nose Day. Now, I remember Red Nose Day from my time in the UK and because I love British Television. So I am aware of it. Not so much aware of how useful it is.
Red Nose Day has jumped the pond and is over here in the Land of the Free & Home of the Brave.
It would help if I actually watched more television but the gist I get is that they are raising money for childhood poverty with promises that lives will be changed. I looked at the website for more information. They are vague on the desired outcomes, well besides wearing red noses and raising money. Not too much on the dull stuff regarding how the money will be used. Couldn't find jack on which organizations will get any of the money raised.
And now my critical thinking skills kick in.
This is bull.
There is something in a charity you know, and you know what they do and you see their work on the ground. There is also something in knowing charities you wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole because they are ineffective, have bad leadership, engage in things you despise, or something else that doesn't sit well with you. So I wouldn't be quick to support something where I can't see who is doing the heavy lifting and if any heavy lifting is being done and if it is just not a feel good exercise. Maybe there is a list of charities that are being supported by Red Nose Day but it's too buried in the site for my taste if it is there.

Want to feed people?
a. Find people who need food and feed them
b. Find who feeds the people in your community and give them money.

Want to help kids get out of poverty?
1. Figure out what gets kids out of poverty
    a. practice it in your own community
    b. give to organizations that do that thing or set of things that gets kids out of poverty
2. Learn about people who used to be poor children and aren't poor anymore. Tell people what you've learned.

Education is one of the things that helps get people out of poverty. Good education that provides marketable skills. But it is just one of several parts of a ladder needed to help, assist, people out of poverty.

But it is easier to have a party and focus on the spectacle than the hard work.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Practice, Practice, Practice

My thoughts are on training. At the place where they pay me, we have lots (I consider lots) of training. Thankfully, most of it is on-line. We also get memos of policy, some of those are written in a form of English that I understand. I have a graduate degree. I have two graduate degrees, I should be able to understand a stupid policy statement. But alas, jargon, inside knowledge of what a vaguely named department that is 2 weeks old, and pretzel logic makes it difficult.
What does this have to do with faith, Christianity and such? Practice. Our household is of practicing Christians. Not just believing Christians. We pray, not as much as we should, but it is a daily practice. The Help reads the Bible to me nightly, not every night (esp. if we're really sleepy), but most nights before bed he reads a chapter to me. We're on Philippians. We go to church once a week, sometimes twice, not always the same church. As a Catholic, when we travel, we sure as heck attend mass. But unlike that practice which kinda sorta lines up with the happy thoughts in our head, the missives and training at work don't always line up with the practice.
The biggest problem is security, but it would be not in my best interest to talk about that in detail. Let's say policy and practice don't really line up.
There is training. That is not always practiced. We are told a certain system is to do X and certain personnel respond to it as so. But in the day to day, it does not live up to that.
There is trust. Or the lack thereof. Despite the memos and other communication, a certain practice says daily, "we don't trust you." There is no daily/weekly practice here of 'we need you to help us preserve this', 'we need you to help people find things', or 'we need to work together for a true common goal.'
Some training, not all, is forgotten after it is done, because it doesn't relate to the culture of the place. There is the training, and there is the way you really do it. The practice of it.