Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some Thoughts About Why I'm at the 2008 CGI Meeting

The major challenges upon which the participants at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative [CGI] meeting have a shared focus are: Education, Energy & Climate Change, Global Health, and Poverty Alleviation.

As a blogger, some people might ask me why I’m here. I blog political issues and, admittedly, this work the Clinton Foundation is doing has a lot to do with the possibilities that come with political persuasion and vision, but this work does not rely solely upon politics in that it asks business, government, and civil society towork together in harmony for the benefit of humankind.

What change is possible in our world through the endeavors of and commitments to the Clinton Global Initiative? It isn't magical and it involves hard work, financial commitment, and a genuine caring for the lives of others. In truth, my personal interest in this goes beyond all politics. I think, in the end, it’s all about what lies deep in my heart. When it comes to what draws me to the CGI, the arrow directed toward my heart involves faith, spirit, caring, hope .. call the sum of it what you will. Think, just for a moment, about whatever causes you to care about your fellow human being. That’s the ground where I’ll meet you as we talk about what can be accomplished by the CGI and all who make commitments to the organization.

I think of my own friend George Henry Amoah who works hard for his fellow community members as Executive Director at Gye Nyame Charity International in Ghana. His organization believes that the plight of equatorial Africa is a global challenge that cannot be ignored by the developed world. At the Gye Nyame website, it states, “A nation can only improve the education & welfare of its people through internal initiatives based upon local & regional knowledge & practices, supported by global, ethical & accountable investment.” The organization, like many of its kind in Africa today, strives to protect poor women who walk long distances in the harvesting season and work the rest of the day picking fruit, many of them suffering snake, scorpion and other dangerous bites that sometimes result in death. They do all of this for some small amount of money.

On the eve of the opening of the 2008 CGI meeting, George wrote me a note of hope that people out here are listening and taking meaningful action to make a change we want to see in our world:
“Hello, Jude. Good morning and pray that we see a world of peace and devoid of bad corrupt practices this we need many good people coming together and working hard and not with lip services, we need to pull people on board and with faith we shall get there.
~ George”
We may be oceans apart, but the heart of a caring, hard-working, prayerful and hopeful citizen in Ghana has reached the ears of a blogger from a Northeastern sleepy suburban village in the U.S. where hardships seem to melt away when you learn the truth about the daily struggle for survival in a place you once thought was so far away.

“There’s no such place as far away,” as the spiritual writer Richard Bach has written. Today, more than ever, he’s right.