A little conversation with my fellow conservatives, here. Readers on the political left are welcome to eavesdrop, but this idea is for those of us who like to talk more about limited government and personal responsibility.
When we say these things, we also really like to quote the saying, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” This is wise, and useful. But only if we actually go out and teach men to fish.
Yes, I know, conservatives actually give more to charity than liberals do–maybe our friends on the left think that their social safety nets are effective and sufficient–but is this really enough for us?
If we believe that the best charity isn’t in the form of monetary handouts, but people in the trenches doing one-on-one training with those whose skills aren’t as secure as ours, doesn’t that obligate us to actually give time to our communities doing just that? Not just a little time, either, but enough to make a real difference?
I’m not saying that we don’t do that at all now, but I am suggesting that maybe we should do more. Imagine a concerted, volunteer, conservative community mentoring effort for the needy that was so effective, the most liberal observers would have to admit, “Wow, those Tea Party types are really on to something here–they surely do care about their communities, and they’re clearly doing good to a degree that our generations of public programs simply aren’t.” I don’t care about “converting” those on the left, but wouldn’t it be nice to silence the media’s snide stereotyping of us as heartless misers, as well as reducing the social ills that plague our communities? I’m sure we all care about at least one of those goals.
So what say you? Who’s up for actually teaching men how to fish?