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Dear Agony Aunt Type Person

01 June 2014, 11:12

I see the families and children suffering with the latest strike actions. I feel the need to do something to help them, but I also realise the effects of my charity. As the old proverb states, “No good deed ever goes unpunished.” If I and others alleviate the suffering and extreme poverty, if the miners can effectively continue their strike ad infinitum, ad nauseum, will we be working towards the obviously detrimental effect of our country’s economy?

I see the lady at the traffic light with the baby strapped to her back, begging with a little wave. If I and others contribute to her purse, will she ever be empowered to care for herself through work, and so teach her child(ren) the value of an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s labour? Will we be keeping her and her child(ren) on the street in perpetuity?

I hear the appeals for tools for the “Man at the Side of the Road Project”, and hear of the same tools being sold off at the pawn shops the next day. Do I perpetuate a well-intentioned system of help-them-up which has unfortunately in many cases devolved to hand-outs and freebies with no further value to beneficiaries and society at large?

Agony Aunt Type Person, my social conscience is at odds with my realistic side. How far do we take the charity begins at home philosophy? When do we admit that we are becoming a social-welfare state, feeding and clothing and housing a larger percentage of the population than those filling the coffers of State? Can this state of affairs continue forever without imploding? When should we say, “Enough is enough!”?

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