The Solution (Sol) is in the Problem (Pro)
1) “It’s not unusual for the leadership that resolves tense situations to arise in someone from a “minority” or marginalized group. I believe that we must look to such leaders and groups to help us solve future problems.” Mindell, Arnold. ( 1995) Sitting in the fire: Large group transformation using conflict and diversity. Portland Oregon: Lao Tse Press. (p.27)
2) “Liberation theology’s option for the poor also involves commitment to a concrete way of social change. Too often in the past, change was regarded as occurring from the top down. Poor people are now to become subjects of their own history.” (Stephen I. Pope, “Christian Love for the Poor: Almsgiving and the “Preferential Option.’” Horizons 21 (1994) 303-308) Juan Luis Segundo refers to people who are poor and oppressed as ‘artisans of a new humanity.’ (Theology for Artisans of a New Humanity, 5 vols. (Maryknoll, N.Y. Orbis. 1973-1974) “Social change comes from the ground up, not from the top down. Poor people themselves will bring about the change.” Charles E. Curran, Catholic Social Teaching: 1891-present: A Historical, Theological, and Ethical Analysis (2002) Georgetown University Press, Washington D.C. p. 185)
3) “The Last shall be First: The good thief, Dismas, crucified with Christ, was the first human being Christ brought to heaven. Mary Magdalene, the prostitute, was the first person Christ revealed himself to after his resurrection.” David H. Lukenbill, Lampstand
4) “Those who live in the world but are not of it have something important to tell us about transcending the world. These men and women include the poor and the broken, mystics and visionaries, artists, children and fools. They all live in the margins, and each one wears the face of Christ in a unique way.” Edwina Gateley, Christ in the Margin
5) “The specific purpose of this corporation, the Lampstand Foundation, is to provide support to poor, distressed, and disadvantaged adults to obtain a college education and professional credentials. The root cause of the perpetuation of many of our social problems, is that the wrong people are being asked to address them. The leadership of the social service sector are people whose only experience of the social problem they are attempting to address is through education and or training, which is a good first half step. The fuller step is to bring those into service whose personal background includes experience with the social problem being addressed, inspiring them to seek higher education and professional credentialing and encourage them to assume leadership of our social sector.. As we all know, from experience, the most successful programs are self help programs. And as those in the social sector know, the most successful counselors are peer-counselors.
“All human service work should be led by transformed indigenous leaders, the homeless, transformed, should help the homeless, the prisoner, transformed, should help the prisoner, the addicted, transformed, should help the addicted, the disabled, transformed, should help the disabled. Work for legislation that says: For public agency work in human service work, in addition to education and professional credentialing, experience as a human service consumer is necessary.” David H. Lukenbill, Lampstand
6) Indigenous Leadership:
“a) The solution is in the problem.
“b) Indigenous leaders are native to the community being addressed.
“Lampstand will help inspire the poor, the distressed, the disabled, the prisoner, the addict, the abused, the beaten down, and the disadvantaged, to obtain college degrees from Catholic Colleges, secure professional credentials, and return to help their particular community of suffering. Their lives will become a transcending mission of their former suffering after having helped themselves, learning and bringing back tools, knowledge, expertise, and credentials to help others who are suffering what they once did.
“Self help is an old American concept, virtually enshrined in the revolution founding America, ratified in the mythic status of second chances, codified in the sixties and as strong a current of under-girding thought as ever. Lampstand is dedicated to helping create a society where the individual spiritual search for salvation is supported and revered, as much as the academic and professional search.
“One of our guiding principles is opening our hearts and touching the untouchables, extending our hands to them, in our attempt to fulfill a central part of Christ’s instructions to us in living the Christian life. The heart of philanthropy is ‘God’s love of humanity’, expressing that love through our work is our core belief. The root of philanthropy is spiritual, defined throughout all scripture as love of the neighbor, love of the enemy; love that reaches out and gives. The use of the term ‘philanthropy’ has largely replaced ‘charitable’ as those receiving it – the kindness of others – did not always wish to be seen as distressed or in need of charity. Receiving help from a philanthropist however, appears more to be earned, thus relieving the receiver of the ‘stigma of need’. In terms of emulating ‘God’s love of humanity’, whom among humanity was most deserving of that love, we need look no further than Christ’s actions. One of the first to be forgiven by him and come to play a major role in his mission was the prostitute, Mary of Magdalene. What was Christ telling us through his actions about charity? Suffering can bring grace – the reformed reform others through word and deed – blessed be the sinners who have repented – all of these and more.
“Using a medical metaphor, Lampstand believes that the surest antidote to any social disease is someone who has been cured, educated and trained and sent back into the field to inoculate others. Addiction medicine is one of the few areas of health services where focusing more attention actually saves money. It is estimated that having the medical profession focus on patient’s drug or alcohol problems (examples: asking questions during routine exams about any issues, having social workers deal with obviously intoxicated patients in the emergency rooms, etc) could save four dollars for every one spent. This has been known for some time. This is not new information. Why then has it not been, except in the rare case, folded into the medical profession. Because those in the medical profession, and many still in the public, believe addiction is primarily a behavioral choice rather than a disease. This attitude will change once the formerly addicted begin receiving education and credentials to work in the addition medicine field. The most successful addiction treatment program in the world is alcoholics anonymous. If people from AA are supported in receiving academic credentials, and then professional certification, to work in addiction medicine, the amplifier effect, the leverage, could be, would be, astounding.” David H.Lukenbill, Lampstand
7) “Active concern for the poor and marginalized is of ancient vintage within the Christian tradition; what is new in liberation theology is the privileged role given to the experience and perspective of the oppressed themselves in articulating the theological ground and ethical entailments of that concern. As part of an overall recasting of traditional theological method, liberation thinkers insist that the central claims of the Christian faith (e.g., about the existence and nature of God, the identity of Jesus Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the nature of the Church) be tested “from below,” against the experience of the powerless and the oppressed, and that ultimately such claims cannot be ratified apart from that standpoint.” McBrein, R. Ed. (1995). Encyclopedia of Catholicism. Harper Collins. New York. (p. 769)
8) “It is difficult for most of us to believe that people on the margins of life are capable of becoming highly educated and professionally credentialed, due to the generally accepted mental model that most we carry with us that they are where they are due to a failing, usually of intellect and character, within them.
9) “Deep Smarts: Deep smarts is the term used by (Leonard, D. & Swap, W. (2004). Deep smarts. Harvard Business Review,82 (9), 88-97) to describe a form of knowledge which is earned by experience and over time. Structured knowledge is easy to codify or turn into checklists; unstructured knowledge is hard to articulate and hard to pass on, but by definition, unstructured knowledge is more valuable—precisely because it is hard to duplicate. Deep smarts is what Lampstand builds its mission upon.” David H. Lukenbill, Lampstand
10) Leadership: “The Scots-Irish assertion, which is the essential American assertion, is that leaders will not be accepted who don’t come from within our people and embody or values, has made American what it is today.” Randall Wallace, Director Braveheart, We Were Soldiers. The American Enterprise, “Live” with TAE, March 2005, (p.18)
11) “Deep Knowledge: Experience, academic learning, and professional credentialing, all in the same field.” David H. Lukenbill