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Showing posts from February, 2007

Ingenious Temptations

One of my jobs during the week is fundraising for the local community in Darnall where I work. Darnall is a very disadvantaged neighbourhood in Sheffield. It has lots of good causes which require support, it needs money, it needs plenty of it, and it has never seen its fair share. If I could conjure funding out of thin air I would become a local hero. But, of course, I can't.'If you are the Son of God,' said the Devil to Jesus, 'Command this stone to become a loaf of bread.' [1] What's so wrong with that? I could certainly do with help from someone who could command sheets of paper to become successful funding bids, or piles of earth to become suitcases filled with crisp new fifty pound notes. Isn't the important thing, how you use the money, not where it comes from?
There's a story called 'The Monkey's Paw', written in 1902 by someone called William Wymark Jacobs. An old soldier tells his friends how, while he was serving in India, he was gi…

Blessed are the Poor

Here are some things which people have said when they were asked whether they felt poor compared to everyone else. 'I do feel poor because I can’t see a better future for my kids, and for my nieces and nephews.' 'I hate having to rely on hand-outs.' 'All my kids have asthma and I think the traffic pollution here is to blame.' 'I don’t read or write very well, and I find it difficult to explain what I'm thinking, so it’s hard for me to fill in forms or even to phone up for advice.' 'I often feel a failure as a parent.' 'The system seems designed to crush you once you're down.' 'I found it hard to bother with school – nobody I knew got a job when they left so it didn't seem worth trying.'Do you know anyone who feels that way about some of those things? I'm sure you do. You might even feel the same way yourself, even if you have to substitute the word 'grandchildren' for 'kids'. There are times when a…