Work Gives Dignity and Pride of Accomplishment

Here is a good reminder about prejudice and about how sometimes measures meant to give immediate help end up hurting people in the long run:

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Janson blurted out, “It’s hard to be sympathetic with a bunch of lazy tramps.”

It was Alfred’s turn to be angry.  His hands clenched the arms of his chair tightly as he answered, “Oh, yes, I forgot, the Indians are lazy and the whites are industrious, so industrious that they are filling up penitentiaries and poor houses everywhere!  There are lazy people in every community, Thomas.  And I wonder if, under the same conditions as created at the agency, whites would not behave the same as our Indian brethren.  A man tends not to value what he is given freely.  I believe that the intention of our agency system was intended as a benevolent one, but in giving the Indians everything they need to live, we have removed the one thing that motivates manliness and character — the pride of accomplishment, the knowledge that one is supporting one’s family and doing well.  That is why we expect our children to work and why we expect the parents of our students to contribute in some way to support the school.”

~Stephanie Grace Whitson, Soaring Eagle (Thomas Nelson, 1996), page 145

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