A Path Appears

Last week, I listened to an interview with Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn who shared on their book: A path appears.

It is a book about hope through giving people the opportunity to step beyond their current circumstances.

Here is a short overview on some of the things they shared:

Inequality is a big problem, bigger than we realize. If we want to address it, we need to address it early. Because poverty goes deeper than a lack of money. It is ultimately, a lack of hope. Hope is like a path in the countryside, when more people walk it, a path appears. We need to help people to dream, because it is their ability to dreams, that gives them hope.

When trying to help people out of poverty, or the results of poverty, we do need to be aware of what methods work. Sometimes our most common way of solving a problem, is not the most effective, or at least not the most cost effective. Often there are some very small and simple solutions, that can change a lot for one person. For example: a parasite treatment, costing only a couple of dollars, can make sure that a child can pay attention in school. This is often more effective than building a school, which does not yet guarantee that the kids will be healthy enough to go there.

Next to the inequality gap, we also see an empathy gap. The poorest 20% of people give proportionately more than the richest 20% of people. Part of this is connected to the fact that poor people are more often surrounded by other people who are suffering. This makes them more willing to give. Whereas it has been tested that the brains of rich people, can be quite unaffected even when they do see suffering.

Helping others is not only good for them, but also for us. We were created to care and volunteering can actually extend our lives. Though helping can be hard and sometimes disappointing, seeing change can also bring a lot of hope and helping one person, affects all who come after him/her. So, though we can’t change it all, we can do some. And for that person, it makes all the difference.

Change has to start with us.

But we have to keep our eyes open. And you might be surprised that often, it is when we start seeing the worst side of humanity, that we also run into some of the very best.

Do you want to help?

There are more ways to help than by giving money. Investigate, find what you like, consider advocacy & get out of your comfort zone. Experience, meet people and it will make a difference not only on them, but on you also.

Our response

A Path Appears is about hope, and about what we can do to give people hope. In September of 2016, we will have our first ever Youth With A Mission – Discipleship Training School in Ogden, Utah. Our focus will be on Compassion and on how we can speak into the suffering that we see in this world.

One of the places where we feel that God is calling us to reach out to, is Eastern Europe. Thirty years ago, this area of Europe was under the control of communism. And though a lot has changed since then, there is still a lot of brokenness that I belief can be traced back to this time of communism. In Budapest for instance, one of the places where we hope to bring God’s Truth, His love and His hope, there are people who have been living on the streets for over 30 years! This is from before the fall of Communism, and yet, it still hasn’t changed.

Do you feel called to speak Hope into people’s lives? Please check out our Utah Compassion DTS page to see how you can join and make a difference in this world!

Want to learn more about a path appears? Click on the link to visit apathappears.org or search for “A Path Appears” on netflix!

Reference: Speaker Broadcast with Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn for The National Society of Leadership and Success.

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