Chicken & Egg Scenarios

by Edward Henkler on May 5, 2015

I feel compelled to comment on the recent events which have impacted the area where I spent much of my youth. I grew up in Westminster, Maryland, just a bit north and west of Baltimore. There have been some wonderful reports of people taking personal, positive action but social media is filled with negativity. I would describe the chaos as a chicken & egg scenario, which is why I won’t take a side. If I write this correctly, it is my hope that you’ll be slower to choose sides in the future. It all comes back to perspective, which is an integral element of the chicken & egg scenario.

I suspect that you’re all familiar with the chicken & egg scenario. The classic question is which came first? It was obviously the egg, right? How else could the chicken be born? But…where do eggs come from? Chickens lay them… Hmmm…begins to get a little less clear.

The 30-Apr-15 Philadelphia Inquirer included an article which captured the thoughts of a number of candidates for Mayor of Philadelphia during a forum on job creation and workforce training. You may remember a post I wrote about “they” a little over a year ago; see here. There are a lot of “theys” in the Baltimore story, just as there have been in every similar story which has played out in recent months. “They” are the overly aggressive, racially-profiling police. Or perhaps “they” are the career criminals who are begging to be beaten? Or maybe “they” are the parents who seem uninterested in properly raising their children? But just maybe, “they” are people who have spent their lives in low income or poverty situations and are unable (or unwilling, dependent on your perspective) to try? Perhaps “they” are the young people who are more interested in buying and selling drugs? Or are “they” students attending very low performing, inadequately funded schools? Or, completing the circle, are “they” police who have watched colleagues shot and killed by one of the previous “theys”?

I’d encourage you to read the Inquirer article. The candidates’ primary focus was on educational and employment initiatives, which may have been a byproduct of the forum agenda. While you may not agree with their solutions, I’m intrigued by the similarity to the beliefs of Jake Harriman, who founded Nuru International. Jake is a Naval Academy graduate who served as a Marine officer in the “War on Terror”. His experiences convinced him that the root of terrorism was in extreme poverty and that we would only succeed if we eradicated extreme poverty in combination with military actions.

Nuru International

Before blaming “they” for their shortfalls, perhaps we need to consider what “we” can do to improve the situation…

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