Monday, February 27, 2006

numbers

This weekend I attended Georgia International Leadership Conference (GILC) at Rock Eagle 4-H center in Eatonton, Georgia. For those of you who haven’t heard of Eatonton, it is near the uncle Remus Museum. (that’s a joke.)

At the conference I was able to interact and become friends with students from All over the world. I danced with a Nigerian, shared a cabin with Vietnamese, ate lunch with Chinese, and learned the general ins and outs of Hinduism from an Indian. There must have been at least 50 countries represented at the conference. It was fun learning the different facets of cultures that people rarely realize; the uncommon way that someone from Korea might count on their fingers for example.

Through various sessions and activities, we learned lessons of toleration, cooperation, leadership, and awareness. Although the weekend was fun, there was an underlying message of a world mission. We talked of poverty, famine, and more specific things, like the state of Russian orphanages.

I was in an atmosphere of very intelligent people, and I was inspired. I want to “be the change I wish to see in the world”, but I don’t know what to do. I feel that, with the knowledge that I was given, in the scenerios that I have been in, I have a new responsbility to act. JFK said "For those to whome much is given, much is required"

“Its easy to think. It is hard to do. But the hardest thing in the world to do is to act accordance with your thoughts” --Johann van Goethe

Here are some numbers that we went over:
GLOBAL PRIORITIES IN SPENDING (1998)
cost of basic education for everyone in the world: 6 billion
spent on cosmetics in the U.S.: 8 billion
cost of water and sanitation for everyone: 9 billion
spent on ice cream in Europe: 11 billion
cost of basic health and nutrition for everyone: 13 billion
spent on pet food in Europe and US: 17 billion
spent on Japanese business entertainment: 35 billion
spent on Cigarettes in Europe: 50 billion
spent on Alcoholic drinks in Europe: 105 billion
worldwide military spending: 780 billion

It would take and estimated $19 billion per year for ten years to eliminate starvation and malnutrition.
$19 billion is 32% of what the U.S. spends on candy each year; 55% of what the U.S. population annually spends on weight loss programs.

The list goes on: Illiteracy could be tackled with the money that the U.S. spends on video games in 14 months.
All landmines could be removed for 0.25% of annual military expenditures.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wesley-

I wish you weren't so far away, and that we could "make words" about deep topics more often. GILC was a lot of fun, and it was good to meet you, you filthy evil lying maple-infiltrating hazel you. Have a great weekend.

- Anu

3:04 PM  
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