Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bill Crawford: Pathways for the unmotivated

“Pathways” is the popular word today for fixing broken, adolescent, and unsuccessful people.
Here are a few examples. At the federal level there are the Pathways out of Poverty Act, the National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention program, and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Pathways courses. At the state level there are Governor Phil Bryant’s Mississippi Works Smart Start Career Pathway, the Mississippi Department of Education High School Graduation Pathways, and the Mississippi Community College Board’s Academic Pathways and Career Pathways. Outside of government there are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Pathways for Student Success, the Boy Scouts of America Pathway to Adventure Council, and numerous addiction and homeless programs named Pathways. 
We have so many intended-to-help, positive pathways, yet we have so many not following them. They follow other, destructive pathways – pathways to gang membership and crime, pathways to drug and alcohol addiction, pathways to sexual predation and abuse, pathways to mental illness and disorder, pathways to homelessness and poverty, etc.   
It seems we have far more pathways to fix people than in past generations, as well as far more people who need fixing.
Therein lies one of our dilemmas. We have become terrific at analyzing symptoms and creating pathways to treat them, but mediocre at eliminating the destructive pathways that spread the symptoms. It’s like treating small pox but not wiping it out.
Indeed, the sorry fact is our society now embraces much of what confounds us, from entertainment media (movies, TV, Internet, magazines, novels, etc.) that glamorizes gangs, drugs, sex, and anti-social behavior, to politicians who revel in stressful discord rather than sensible solutions, to an economy that idolizes profit with little concern for the consequences – harmful behaviors, rampant layoffs, and income inequality.
In so many ways we no longer condemn but celebrate that which leads us down destructive pathways. And we do this in the name of freedom, e.g. free speech, free markets, and freedom of choice. Never has freedom been so miscast!
If we cannot wipe out destructive pathways, the only alternative is to get broken, adolescent, and unsuccessful people to choose positive pathways.
But, just getting folks to show up is often a problem, revealing our other dilemma. Too many lack the motivation to try, much less stick with the positive pathways available to them. That old saying “where there is a will, there is a way,” must have a corollary that says “where there is no will, there is no way.”
If we cannot get people to turn toward positive pathways and away from destructive pathways, then our positive pathways become useless pathways. 
Still, there are proven methods to help with motivation. Providing more year-round stable, caring, educational environments for young children, more outreach and intensive case management for at-risk youth and adults, and creating more living wage jobs for at-risk individuals are examples. There are more.
Investing in methods that help motivate people to choose positive pathways is just as important as providing them those pathways.
Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Meridian (


Anonymous said...

why work when someone else does and the government takes their money and gives it to you for free in exchange for your vote. This sums up our real problem.

Anonymous said...

The one area that needs to be focused on more than anything is the number of out-of-wedlock births. That is the root cause of the woes the programs you cite are trying to fix. Children born to 14 year old girls or to poverty stricken women who have children by five different men are very likely to have no moral guidance at home. They are also very likely to live in a stagnant area with little prospect for job growth. No amount of government interference is going to fix that.

Look at the birth statistics and you will see that those that can least afford children are having more while those that are educated and have higher family incomes are having fewer kids. We have got to figure out how to reduce the birth rate among low-income families rather than funneling ever more taxpayer money to take care of their children and the inevitable crime that surrounds areas stricken with poverty, lots of kids, and no jobs.

Anonymous said...

One cannot government subsidize motivation or EBT/SNAP success! You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink! #Mindset

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS