(Photo from October 6, 2007, Feeding Washington Park)
God bless them. Really. They mean well, but after this blog post and my first column in CityBeat, I still believe we are not seeing eye-to-eye on the cause and effect of giving away food in Over-the-Rhine‘s Washington Park (and I would add to that: having a “church” service with loudspeakers so loud that windows shake in the building I live in across from the park). So, the good folks at Vineyard Community Church in Springdale (who give away food on Saturday mornings, provide some clothing and other assistance, plus send a van to pick up folks in OTR to attend Saturday evening church services) invited me to come along on a Saturday morning food run and witness first-hand (in this case, across the street from my house where I had been watching them before) the good they were doing. They believed I really didn’t understand. And they were wrong.
This week’s CityBeat column, this blog post, the past writings put me in the awkward position of being at odds with people who are truly, not only trying to do something good, on many levels they are. So, the question then becomes is just “doing good” enough? Or does the good you’re are aiming for actually have to have positive long-term consequences for those you are helping? And does the residual and indirect effects of your well-intentioned actions matter?
I’d say yes, but I think my pleas for understanding may be directed at minds that have already been made up or refuse to hear what I – and others – are saying.