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The World Is Flat

Posted by: Adam Handler on October 17, 2008 9:01PM EST in the NationalDayofActionblog...I had a moment to talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta tonight and I asked him how he would respond to a common critique of foreign aid – how can we justify spending money on foreign assistance when our country is going through such rough economic times?
"The World is Flat"


Those were his first words. Any impact felt here is felt around the world, and vice versa.

Besides the morality of helping others, standing up against global poverty has a substantial benefit for those of us in the United States. Suppose an infectious disease spreads like wildfire across a continent. Countless young people get infected and die, thus wiping out much of a generation and causing a significant setback to that continents economic development, which of course not only helps those countries but others around the world. Unfortunately, this is not just a hypothetical scenario, but a serious consequence of the AIDS epidemic around the world. The world is flat. You can't focus strictly on the short run.

So much reporting on global health focuses on numbers - How many people are hungry? How many die from malaria? How many people were infected with HIV? Numbers obscure a crucial lesson. In reality, we all have much more in common than we think. We all want to provide for our children, ensure they have opportunities we only dreamed of, etc. There is much more tying us together than pulling us apart. We have the same dreams and the same fears.

Intelligence, dreams for a better future and a willingness to work harder are common values around world. What sets people apart are the opportunities afforded to them. Investments and stable systems are lacking in parts of the world. If we can strengthen those systems and provide people with the opportunities to create the kind of life they want, we can make such a difference in the world.

As we lift ourselves out of this current crisis, let's not forget those around the world who are asking not for a handout but the opportunity to lift themselves up.

Remember… The world is flat…
Posted by webmaster on Oct 17, 2008 11:54 PM US/Eastern

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