Touching the face of God
Posting the 4 Lego posters by the UNHCR made me think about the days when I taught social studies and world issues, and the many conversations I have with friends about such things. Remember asking a few friends that if they were given $1 billion to solve ONE problem in the world right now, what would they spend that money on? Alleviating poverty? Getting rid of child hunger? Eradicating a particular disease? Reversing climate change? Or what? What is the one thing that we have to work towards as a global community bound by a common humanity? And of course another question that pops up is whether money alone is sufficient to solve that problem, whatever it may be. Is the axiom that “if we throw enough money at a problem, it will go away” feasible or even desirable? At this point, my friends would groan: Oh no, is this another one of those ‘Irwin-type questions’ where we have to think, and must choose ONE option and explain it? Like what is your ONE favourite movie, or ONE historical person you’d like to have tea with, or ONE invention that you think our world would be radically different if it was not invented – kind of questions.
Oh, back to choosing that ONE world issue to spend $1 billion on, reminds me of a scene in The West Wing (where else? *grin*) where President Bartlet asked his senior staff:
“What will be the next thing that challenges us, Toby? That makes us go farther and work harder? You know that when smallpox was eradicated, it was considered the single greatest humanitarian achievement of this century? Surely we can do it again, as we did in the time when our eyes looked towards the heavens, and with outstretched fingers, we touched the face of God.”
What will be the next thing?