The key question

You have two hours with your students. Which question will you ask yourself?

1. What will I do with them?
2. How can I prepare them?

When you enter pilot training, you eventually land in the cockpit by yourself. Your life is in your hands. When you enter high school, you eventually land in adulthood by yourself. Your life is in your hands.

A YOUthworker’s job (in a supporting role to the parents, of course) is to prepare students for that moment. What investments will yield self-sustaining faith, hope, and love?

It’s sometimes easier to strategize by looking outside your own context. A great example is unfolding before us this week. All the aid-donating countries of the world are asking one of those two questions regarding Haiti. Here’s a sobering perspective on it from yesterday’ Wall Street Journal:

For actual Haitians, however, just about every conceivable aid scheme beyond immediate humanitarian relief will lead to more poverty, more corruption and less institutional capacity. It will . . . foster the very culture of dependence the country so desperately needs to break.

A better approach recognizes the real humanity of Haitians by treating them — once the immediate tasks of rescue are over — as people capable of making responsible choices.

Which question will you ask?