Saturday, February 23, 2008

Modern day prophets?

Whenever Canadian oratorical giant Stephen Lewis speaks to children in war-torn or disease-ravaged countries he always hears the same plea from them, they want to go to school.

In a stirring speech that spoke to the hearts, minds and souls of Catholic educators in Waterloo Region - Lewis eloquently painted a graphic portrait of the horrendous poverty and human suffering currently gripping Africa.

His talk centered on the failure of Western countries to achieve the eight UN Millennium Development goals, one of which includes eradicating poverty from the face of the earth by 2015.

He also pointed out how tellingly sad is the lack of political leadership that it takes celebrities like U2's Bono or Madonna to shed light on the oppression of the poor and disenfranchised of the world.

One day earlier, the 'wealthiest' human being on the planet, Microsoft's Bill Gates, spoke at the University of Waterloo. Gates not only challenged his audience to embrace new technologies and careers in math and computer science.

A significant part of his message to the students and faculty focused on how the free enterprise system works quite well for the top and middle categories of the world's population but not so well for the 2 billion people who live at the bottom. He challenged the youthful audience to think more about the needs of the poor.

Both Lewis and Gates' recent presentations point out how whether in the most prestigious university using the most advanced technological gizmo or in a humble African mud hut, that all the knowledge in the world is empty, unless tempered by a healthy dose of human compassion.


Rodd Lucier said...

Talk about teaching the most important lessons! Your PD committee did a great job of engaging such a passionate and motivated speaker.

Here's hoping the key messages percolate through the classrooms in your region; and beyond...

Anonymous said...

Blog,Blog,Blog so complicated. I did enjoy the article and looking forward to a BOOK?

Anonymous said...

I absolutely enjoyed reading this particular article. I very much agree with the fact that the media is having a large amount of an influence on the way people are acting in an everyday situation. I never knew about some of the tragedies going on throughout the world. Can’t wait to see another one of your articles!