At present, three different actors portray Sherlock Holmes.

On the BBC, Benedict Cumberbatch portrays the legendary fictional character in “Sherlock,” as a recovering chain-smoker and self-professed “high-functioning sociopath” set in modern London. It’s very humorous .

Jonny Lee Miller stars in “Elementary” on CBS as a recovering heroin addict assisting NYPD. His Sherlock is very damaged, grieving his mother’s death and his love's betrayal.

And then there’s Robert Downey, Jr. with full-length films set in 1890s Great Britain. He’s a brilliant buffoon eaten up with pride, a boozing playboy in Victorian England. He’s the only non-British actor in the mix. Not a bad accent, though.

Of course, since I grew up in the 1960’s, my Sherlock was Basil Rathbone. He made 14 Holmes movies between 1939 and 1946. Some of them were based on the classic stories, but, since they were set in “modern times,” Holmes ended up fighting Nazis. I watched them on “Mystery Theater” on Saturday afternoons when I was a kid.

The Masterpiece Theatre series starring Jeremy Brett were more or less faithful renditions of Doyle’s original stories, and for purists, that’s the series to watch. For addicts, that’s also the one to watch, because there are 41 episodes.

Well, what have we learned from this? One, that I have spent too much of my life watching TV. Two, everyone has his own interpretation of the detective, from classic to humorous to dark. He’s subject to interpretation. Everyone likes or dislikes the portrayals listed above based on their own preferences and tastes.

What’s the best way to help people escape poverty?

Some hold to assigning everyone to same economic status- no rich, no poor, just equality. That hasn’t worked anywhere. We’re all equal in our value to God and original sin, but that’s about it. Intelligence, talent, instinct, discernment- all these qualities render equality temporary at best.

Some believe that the key is provision- simply take care of everyone’s needs, from the womb to the tomb. Unfortunately, this sort of generosity can lower self-esteem, eliminate individual vision and self-sufficiency.

Habitat for Humanity believes people escape poverty when they learn to manage their lives, most notably through home ownership. Home ownership is the single most significant element to long-term economic change. Our families buy their homes, invest a minimum of 500 hours into building their homes, and maintain their homes as examples to their surrounding neighborhood. We teach families how be home owners- which is unique to our offering.

We center our efforts around Christ’s teachings, mission and character, which gives us a moral center. We maintain absolute financial integrity and accountability, which gives us credibility in our community.

We’ve maintained this perspective for almost 31 years.

It seems to work.

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