In South Africa, issues of sustainability are echoed in many of these letters, but especially in the comments by Lamiri Mustapha above and in those relating to overpopulation.
Pres Obama's continual reference to history in his inauguration address was refreshing and inspired hope to most of us in SA. Many civil and regional wars in history are revolutionary in origin...the Haves vs the Have-nots!! The wars on terror currently being waged by the USA are no different, except that the global village scenario has pitched us all as neighbours!! Those hatching plans of how to destroy, have nothing worth living for and no hope for anything better. Rather than trying to convert their enemies to the American ideaology, America could better spend their defence budget on giving the "Have-Nots" a reason for living and something to preserve for their future generations....education, education and education, establishment of small businesses, partnerships, technological and infrastuctural support, capacity...in the form of real and courageous people who are prepared to step out of the box of their own comfort zones, in foreign/enemy countries, to really walk and listen to their global neighbours. Through a path of true sacrifice, this will open America's eyes to what shapes a person's/nation's frame of reference and thus enable reciprocal learning , creating a better life for us all!! And will solve the population explosion at the same time!!
We are excited to hear rumours of Oprah Winfrey in negotiation to become the next ambassador to SA...she espouses the holistic approach we need here, and has the ability [as does Pres Obama, it appears] to truly listen AND hear what is needed to inform and change in the USA and via its global influence. Only ongoing "listening" and analysis, debate and broad input, can construct the path forward for each country and its problems, rather than what we have seen in the past... the USA/big governments presupposing and imposing inappropriate policies that are not alive and adaptable to local issues.
Getting rid of agricultural subsidies in the developed coutries would go a long way to levelling the playing fields and allow Africa to emerge as the player it should be in feeding its own. The real task is persuading the First World to downgrade their lifestyles, standards of living and freedom of choice....to respect the impacts that these, motivated by greed, have on fellow global citizens ..... to "live simply, so that others may simply live".
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