We often view cause and effect in a straight linear fashion: a cause leads to an
effect. In a number of instances, however, the situation is more dynamic. Think
of a spiral. Cause and effect work together in a way that one cause leads to an
effect that leads to another cause leading to another effect in an outward,
exponential fashion so that circumstances quickly become out of control and
resolution of problems extremely difficult. This to me seems to be the case with
Given the number of people worldwide who are barely making it poverty isn't
because people aren't working hard enough or making the right choices.
I'd say the person digging through the dump was working harder than many
wealthy people living enviable lives in the US. Our plans to help often cause
hurt instead. And center around our own convenience and not what is desired by
those in need. It is more important about how we feel about doing the good deed.
Coming at this problem from the standpoint of strengthening families before
addressing poverty I think is just as reasonable as the opposite. Like the
Eyre's point out, it is difficult if not impossible to parse out which
comes first here. In fact, it is likely both at one time or another. I agree
that we should do everything we can at a local level to strengthen the family,
and at the same time do everything we can to eradicate poverty as well.
Strong families are great. Yet, individuals have their agency. It is unfair to
blame parenting techniques on every ill that some families experience.
This article reminds me of Elder Ballard's talk in the April 2012
conference, entitled "That the Lost May Be Found." Here is a
snippet:"The real question, of course, is about cause and
effect. Do some sectors of our society have stronger values and families because
they are more educated and prosperous, or are they more educated and prosperous
because they have values and strong families? In this worldwide Church we know
that it is the latter. When people make family and religious commitments to
gospel principles, they begin to do better spiritually and often temporally as
well.""And, of course, societies at large are strengthened
as families grow stronger. Commitments to family and values are the basic cause.
Nearly everything else is effect. When couples marry and make commitments to
each other, they greatly increase their chances of economic well-being. When
children are born in wedlock and have both a mom and a dad, their opportunities
and their likelihood of occupational success skyrocket. And when families work
and play together, neighborhoods and communities flourish, economies improve,
and less government and fewer costly safety nets are required."
"Most economists and politicians blame both social ills and family
instability on poverty. But what if it is exactly the other way around, and the
poverty and instability are the direct results of declining or poorly
sense is that the problem is a chicken/egg kind of cause/effect relationship
that is so inextricably tied together that influencing one part will have
inevitable effects on the other.The important thing to remember
about the relationship between social ills/family instability and poverty is
that simply dumping money on someone who is dysfunctional more often than not
simply empowers the dysfunctionality. It not only doesn't help the
individual, it often promotes the negative influence of the dysfunctionality.The effects of poverty, as defined by some nebulous state of financial
insufficiency, can be insidious and profound. But, ironically enough, the most
negative effects are almost NEVER solved by merely increasing the money the
person has at hand.Every human being is best nourished not by money
but by people. THAT is why stable, loving, supportive family environments, with
or without much money, are the best and perhaps only "cure" for social
Thank you very much for your words! I can vouch for them in their entirety.
I've lived my entire life watching intact families succeed and be joyful,
and broken families falter and individuals from them struggle. So far it's
been 100% consistent. Everyone I know who's grown in a stable enough
family has eventually "grown up" and gone to create a successful and
stable life of their own, and everyone I know-every one of mine and my
silbings' own friends-who had broken families have gone on to personal ruin
to this day. It's heartbreaking personally, and it's
frustrating to watch and hear about increasing numbers of people facing this
problem and struggling in the dark about how to fix it, looking to governmental
programs and socialist ideas vainly. They're like sailors with scurvy, and
we've got oranges right here!