There is a parable – popularized in the 1930s by social reformer and community organizer Saul Alinksy - about a group of campers on a river bank who are just settling down for the evening when one of them sees a baby in the water.
He immediately dives in, braving the fierce current, and rescues the infant. But as he climbs ashore, one of the other campers spots another baby in the river in need of help. Then another. And another. Overwhelmed by the sheer number of babies, the campers grab any passer-by they can to help them.
Before long, the river is filled with desperate babies, and more and more rescuers are required to assist the campers.
At this point one of the rescuers starts walking upstream.
‘Where are you going?’ the others ask, disconcerted, ‘We need you here!
The rescuer replies: ‘You carry on here … I’m going upstream to find out who keeps chucking all these babies in the river.’
Dignity in Action is an organization being built upstream a bit. We believe that dignity for all is the path toward justice for all. We are committed to building a sustainable business ecosystem that nurtures people; helping them to discover, develop, and use their gifts and talents to reach their financial goals. Those goals may be making just enough extra money each month to pay for all their basic needs. Or building a financial safety net so that an unexpected expense doesn't jeopardize their financial security.
But most importantly, we want people to feel their inherent worth and the feeling of dignity that comes from meaningful work. We want to support a collaborative community of makers, teachers, mentors, helpers and cheerleaders who work side-by-side to lift up and encourage each other to create, innovate, and produce.
I'm heading upstream...will you walk with me?