Principles of Self Help

As Reverend Leon H. Sullivan said in his book Moving Mountains, “Emancipation is achieved socially when people move in protest against injustice and deprivation.” “While we prevail upon government, industry, and the community to help poor by providing jobs, self-help remains as the key… Without inner resources such as motivation, discipline, and the will to succeed, no amount of external support will make you independent and self-reliant.”

Reverend Sullivan gave several principles or concepts throughout his 3 books to help you think or achieve self-help, self-reliance, or independence.  The principles represent goals and commitments.  All based on scripture, they have been quoted as:

  • Use what you have in your hands is Sullivan’s #1 Principle.
  • To overcome centuries of negative stereotypes, self-belief must be promoted and encouraged.
    • Stand on your feet as tall as you can and reach up as high as you can.  You may not reach the stars, but you will get closer to them than you were before.
    • If you can change a place of despair into a place of hope, you can change anything.
  • Integration without preparation is frustration. There are 3 imperatives to be prepared and overcome apathy in our community:
    • The emphasis on education and training is the main imperative.
    • Unity and cooperation are the second.
    • The third is to understand that the survival of the individual depends on the survival of all of us.
  • It is important for people to own something.  When you own something, you respect it more.
  • Cooperative economics demonstrates what could be done by consolidating the economic resources of a dedicated few to achieve a lot.