From the perspective of doing the most good the idea of being self-reliant and solving our problems ourselves is crucial. The goal we are setting for ourselves is to live a full and productive life engaged in doing the most good possible. As a starting point, this means being as little of a burden to others as possible. It means learning to be self-reliant and to learn how to do what we want to do (to help ourselves and to help others) and learn how to be what we want to be (the most effective person we are able to become in doing good). This is what we want to become ourselves, but it is also what we want to help others to become. Part of our effort can be to help to establish guidelines for helping agencies to become less bureaucratic and to make their services as transparent and accessible as possible.
We also need to learn – and help others to learn – to solve our problems cooperatively, showing respect for each other’s dignity and each other’s willingness and ability to learn.
Learning – expanding our abilities to do things for ourselves and expanding our abilities to help others – is the key idea.
A source of information about the work of individuals, small groups, and local communities to solve social problems is http://www.yesmagazine.org/