Yesterday, Chris posted a new cover photo on our Facebook Page, describing the dichotomy of the Taj Mahal with the town of Agra; while both are beautiful, the Taj’s beauty come from majesty and grandueur, while the town’s beauty comes from a patchwork of color.
Chris pointed out that while looking at the Taj Mahal, you might miss the beauty that is all around you just because it is the type of beauty that is much more mundane and commonplace.
Due to desensitization and over-exposure, often in life we overlook that which we see every day and only notice that which is unique, grand and different.
Sadly, this is what is happening in the world of international development as well.
We are desensitized to the needs of the poor, immune to their cries for help and in some ways only willing to give attention when a grand majestic plea is put together.
In the after math of the Kony 2012 video, Michael Abramowitz posted on Nicholas Kristof’s NYTimes blog calling for governments to improve their approach to Atrocities Prevention, such as genocide.
While Mr. Abramowitz focused on the government’s role, I would also like to highlight the role of social entrepreneurs.
Last year, I went to the genocide museum in Kigali, Rwanda and I’ll admit it was the first time that I really started to grasp what happened there in the 90s. A few years before that, I was in Cambodia learning about the Khmer Rouge.
Theres something about these truly unfortunate developments that struck me as a common denominator: poverty.
Poverty leaves its victims without the dignity of choice, but also without the dignity of security.
While there will always be good and evil, and always a need for the righteous to circumvent the plans of those with negative intentions, long-term, slow, mundane economic development can go a long way to putting stop gaps between atrocities.
While I applaud all efforts to mitigate evil and help the innocent, I want to emphasize that this is an epic struggle which extends well beyond our lives or even the generations we interact with in a life time. A struggle with that kind of timeframe requires slow, long term solutions as well.
Just because economic development is not a flash in the pan quick solution, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t dig in.
The long slog isn’t always the most glorious, but we need people who are in it for the slog and not for the glory.
If that sounds like you, join us and become a social entrepreneur!