Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Carol Bellamy on Leadership and Peace

Carol Bellamy, former head of UNICEF,

was a graduate of Gettysburg College.

So was I. We just went at different times.

In recent interviews on campus she spoke
on some really big global issues.

Most essential to my comments on
peace-making are
those regarding foreign study.

(A luxury I have never had in person,
but I knew it was important and
went out of my way to learn more a
bout many cultures with an open mind.)

A few of her remarks are shared here for your peace journey.

"...the globalized world we live in demands new competencies and techonology..."

Celebrity status sends stardom to developing countries.

Yet, Carol Bellamy adds,

"...people who carry both a first name and a last name can make a difference.
It's about choices,not celebrity DNA"

I like that.
I believe each one of us makes a difference everyday.
The choice is ours whether it is a good difference or not.

Carol continues:

..."people need to learn to listen, to learn to care,
to be tolerant of human views and to be intolerant of human suffering."

"Everybody has to make whatever their contribution is,
but I think we have to continue to try
to create an environment in which more attention
is paid to the quality of leadership --
government leadership, private-sector leadership, civil society leadership."

Carol reminds us that going global does not mean ignoring your immediate neighborhood.

"In the US, 1 of 4 kids is born below the poverty line."

She speaks of environmental issues with a different focus. And calls us to recognize that :

"Environmental issues are not just the prerogative of environmental agencies."

When natural disasters occur, the environmental degradation
is greater in countries with fewer protections.
The poorest people of our world live in some of the most fragile areas.

The fact that children of this world continue to die
from diseases or conditions that are preventable is deplorable.

And so in the shadow of Martin Luther King Day, I beseech you


Pay Attention to what your leaders are doing at all levels of government and society.

Pay Attention to more than celebrities and their pets or babies' names.

Pay Attention to what the presidential candidates have
done that MERITS more leadership responsibilities.

Pay Attention to what these candidates say they ARE doing
and WILL do to promote world peace and sustainability.

Pay Attention to their plans for reducing Global Climate Change.
If they have not told you yet, ASK.

In those everyday ways we can act for justice and make a difference.
A difference that will last beyond our lives.

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