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I was watching some football the other day when I thought of a metaphor to help explain a new strategy for humanitarian aid.  That happens to everybody, right?  You’re watching football and finding ways to better communicate innovative thoughts and strategies to solve the world’s most desperate problems?  Maybe I am a little weird.

Regardless, here is what I was thinking.

Tackling is an important part of football.  If a team wants to do well on defense, they need to be pretty good at tackling the person on the other team with the ball.  That is just something that you do in the game of football.  It is a reality of football.

But it is not the whole game.

It is not the goal of the game.

It is only part of the game.image 2

The goal of playing the game of football is to win.  You could be incredibly at tackling and still lose the game.  You could be the best tackling team in the league, but since you are bad at offense and special teams – you could lose every game.  And that would not be a successful season.  The goal of playing football is to win.  That is the mission, the vision, and the objective.  Does being a good tackling team help achieve that goal?  Definitely.  But it is not the over-arching goal.  The goal is to win the game.

This same principle can be compared with the way that many people think about ‘justice’.  For many people in the humanitarian aid world, justice is all about righting the wrongs in society.  It is about stopping bad things from happening.  The goal of justice is to stop injustice.

So these people and their organizations focus on programs that right the wrongs, stop the injustices, and tackle (pardon the pun) any problems and evils that might be happening.  If there are bad people out there – they are going down.  From human trafficking to slavery to corporations that abuse workers to a myriad of other social evils, people want to stop injustice any way that they can.

images 3But that is only part of the big picture.  That is only part of the game.

See, the goal is not to stop injustice.  That is just like tackling.  It is definitely a part of what needs to be done in order to achieve the end goal, but it is not the goal in and of itself.  The goal is to go beyond stopping injustice in order to fully create a new context of peace, equality, and justice.  The goal is to create a context that is not only free of injustice but also puts people in a place to prosper and thrive.

That’s the end goal.  That’s how we win the game.

So don’t get too excited about tackling – even though that is important.

But let’s have an End Goal mindset.  Let’s create an entirely new context that is right and good.

Let’s win the game.

That’s the goal.

Categories: end goal

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