Most development strategies today are based on or towards ‘the good life’ or the lifestyle modeled by affluent Western societies. According to the ‘catching-up development path’, poor countries all over the world could easily attain ‘the good life’ by “following the same path of industrialization and capital accumulation taken by Europe and the USA and Japan.” Basically they mean that they’re just behind and they need to catch up. However, history has proven that the catching up development path has never attained its desired goal. This is due to many things, but the most obvious is that underdeveloped countries have been at a disadvantage ever since colonialism.
Underdeveloped nations did not become impoverished by chance or by natural circumstances: a structured colonial system drained these countries of resources and independence which disadvantaged them almost indefinitely. They were made dependent on their metropoles and in turn lost their own social and cultural identities.
Continue reading “The Myth of How to ‘Fix’ Poverty”
This is a podcast I listened to about 3 and a half months ago, a while into my year in India and when I was feeling the full affects of post break up syndrome, homesickness, and I guess some sort of teenage angst..
The best part about this podcast was this realization that I heard while listening.. they mentioned not only about what loneliness does to a person, but also what loneliness can do for a person. Loneliness is a gift.
Listen to it here.
There is so much wisdom in every person you meet. You can’t live every life style, but you can learn so much from meeting and talking to people who’ve lived a different life than you. A 19 year old Indian medical student, an old married couple who lives three flights above you, a religious guru who you also call ‘Mata Ji’ (mom) – all of these people at different stages in their lives have some completely different insights about what happiness in life is. But there is one uniting factor among them – their attachment to their home.
Every Indian that I ask says that their country is not a happy country. They point out the gap between the rich and the poor, they point out the corruption and the instances of poverty. But interestingly enough, they all say they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Continue reading “The Geography of Home”
So I think I have a problem. I’m 16 with the dreams of a 22 year old, and I can’t wait those mere 63 months to pursue them. There’s nothing I want more than to get lost on a different continent, explore the ancient past and my future.
I wake up every morning and spend hours everyday dreaming of destinations and planning itineraries for unlikely trips. It’s something thats always picking my brain and straining my bank account. I deprive myself of simple luxuries at home, for the sake of putting that small currency towards my travel funds.
and then I think
Is travel really worth it? Is it really what I want? What’s so great about the rest of the world? People who live in Italy, or New York, want to get away from their homes as much as I do from my small town. Who’s to say that a treehouse in Thailand will feel any different than a plain house in Carson City? Are my dreams of the globe better than the reality of my desires?
I have so many things to do and so much to think about. I want to learn 27 languages and visit hundreds of countries. According to the rest of my species, I MUST go to college. I MUST be successful and I must be happy with ignoring what I really want to do until I’m at the ripe of 65, and retired.
HOW does this make sense? Why do people deal with this and blindly accept societies norms? Why aren’t people doing what they want to do?
People have an average of 28,325 days on Earth. The first 15 years of life (5475 days) people spend with their parents, growing and learning, attending school, and approaching adulthood. This leaves us with 23,360 days. Now think of how much time a person spends sleeping; one third of their life-span. Now we are left with 41 years. Take into account the time you’ll spend eating & drinking, working, commuting or traveling, watching TV, doing chores and shopping, caring for friends and family, bathing, going to church and charities. You’re left with 10 years. How much of your free time have you used up already? Have you gone anywhere? Have you done anything? Are you happy?
All I know is that my ten years will not be wasted. They’ll be spent seeing the world, and happily living out of a suitcase.