Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Beautiful People of Earth

I've been learning a lot about many issues in the so-called third world countries, such as hunger, lack of access to clean water, and environmental conservation. Before I go to sleep, I often think about those people on other parts of the earth.

Although Peru rated high on the Human Development Index, most people in the country are still poor. We watched a video of Brazilian nut hunters in Peru. I got the people imprinted in my mind - they are beautiful people! They are dark-skinned, have features that aren't like those of white, black, or Asian, and speak with some accent. Some of their traditional clothes are very pretty. They are beautiful because they are not perfect and real. We are not talking about some fictional remote planets and aliens as in Avatar here. Those local people, in Earth's most abundant and scenic place, the tropical rainforests, are harvesting wild Brazilian nuts (a labor-intensive job) and making a living through their own sweat and time.

The Amazon is not paradise. The people struggle for life. Conflicts (between people and between people and the environment) always exist. The local people want ownership over their land, but they don't want to be isolated from the rest of the world. They are not satisfied to be in poverty and long for the materials we enjoy in developed countries, while afraid that their culture would vanish with globalization, and their hometown would be destroyed by foreign companies.

Although complete equality across the globe is impossible, I dream about seeing those beautiful people of Earth empowered and thriving, not as the perfect Avatar in an isolated paradise, but as modern people! They don't necessarily need a first world lifestyle. (That's not feasible for everyone, and we rich people need to lower our consumption factor too.) Just a little more would make them much happier - but I hope to see them able to get what they want - food, clothes, etc. - not receiving the leftovers of rich countries because we pity them! And that they have titles to their land, and can connect with the rest of the world by economics and modern electronics, representing their own culture and be proud, like the Chinese and the Indian today, instead of being assimilated in the storm of globalization.

Is it even possible, that we can't eradicate all the conflicts and problems in the world, but at least make things a bit better and not let the beautiful parts of the world disappear?

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