Somewhere out there, in the deep and expansive universe there lies a world. Circling the misty reaches of space and swirling in an almost unrecognizable fog. A world where there are vast deserts and jungles, mountains and volcanoes, long droughts and rainy seasons. A world of vibrant color and cloaking mystery. In this world there lives a certain type of creature; a being so distant and unknown we would not even recognize its existence. Most of our society would consider this creature’s living condition to be less than their own. Our society would shun such a creature, let’s call this creature povertarius developinus.
Povertarius lives in the so called ‘third’ world. The world that orbits around the cerebral matter in our skulls encircling the first world, somewhere near the trajectory of the second world. Povertarius is trapped in this world because the inhabitants of the first world keep povertarius in a perpetual course so as to hinder povertarius’ ability to develop, whether known or not. What those in the first world do not realize is that povertarius is not the only creature developing.
Ok, so crawl back out of fantasy world before we go too deep into that illustration. The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as the ‘third’ world. It is an idea that has been put into our heads by western society because there are members of this world that do not live at the same ‘standard’. That term seems to denote a high standing or ability, but is almost near opposite. There is only one world and we are all a part of its rotating wonder. The majority of the peoples on the continent of Africa are labeled as living in this ‘third’ world. Even as they develop and build they remain in the ‘developing’ state. As the President of Zambia, Mr. Mwanawasa said, “It is not easy to achieve everything at once like they are telling you. Even developed countries are still developing.” In the last five years, his administration worked hard to stabilise the economy and now time had come to improve the living standards of the people.
African countries may be in the process of developing, but so are we, the people in western countries. We are developing the way we see the world and how we react or act to the different situations that various people face. We are developing our ability to care and show compassion, the most basic human action, to those who need our help. We need to start developing a process to assist those who most need our help. We need to develop our government’s actions to fit the size of its big words and statements. The world’s people need to recognize that we are not separated by very much anymore, except maybe our prejudices and false perceptions. We are not so distant as to claim we live in different worlds any longer. The distance is only in our minds. Welcome to the world. This is your formal welcome, we’d love you to join us.
(I guess I really don’t have the authority to welcome you all to the world, but it sounded good in writing. I hope the collective peoples of the world welcome you with open arms, open eyes, open minds, and open hearts.)