Imagine going to the doctor. He’s been a doctor for 20+ years and he truly believes in helping people. He’s compassionate, has all kinds of doctor friends, and is super connected in the medical world.
He spends some time with you, checks you out, runs some tests, and makes a diagnoses. He’s the expert and so full of confidence, why would you dream of questioning his opinion? He gives you some medicine and recommends a few changes to your diet.
No matter how compassionate, caring, and well-intentioned your doctor is, a misdiagnoses means you won’t get better.
So it goes with development work. That’s why Africa can receive countless amounts of aid dollars and not see a marked improvement. These aid dollars are going toward solutions based on a misdiagnoses.
If you’re motivated by compassion, as I hope you are, please combine it with serious thought, intentional actions, and real experience. Emotions by themselves will almost always get us in trouble.