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Posted by Sarah Brown on 10 Mar '14

Changing beliefs to empower people

However much you help people, their beliefs may stop them taking advantage of opportunities - they need to believe that they are people who can....

With the current talk of food banks and benefits Britain there is a danger that many people are being defined as victims or even charity cases. How can people keep their pride and feel that they can achieve things when implicitly and sometimes directly they are being labelled as failures who cannot cope on their own? More worryingly, what is it doing to their children and what problems are we creating for the future?

There are great examples of people overcoming labels particularly those that they got in their early years. Albert Einstein was a poor student who was called mentally slow and unsociable. Abraham Lincoln's teachers described him as a daydreamer who asked foolish questions. Thomas Edison was called a hopeless case when he was seven years old. His teacher described him as "addled" and said it would be useless for him to continue in school. All of these people came to realise that authority figures were not the determiners of their destiny and that they could achieve.

If you are in a charity which is working with people who are being held back because of beliefs they have got, are you helping them throw them out, inspiring them and supporting other beliefs that will serve them better? Moving them from I can’t to I can.

If you are just supplying the physical needs then can you find someone else to collaborate with who can help build their self-esteem and empower people to believe it can be different? Otherwise the people using food banks today will still be using them in ten years’ time.

Tags: collaboration charity inspiration

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