EIGHT GOALS TO CHANGE THE WORLD ... at the turn of the millennium... specifically: "At the Millennium Summit in September 2000 the largest gathering of world leaders in history adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets, with a deadline of 2015, that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world's time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions-income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion-while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. They are also basic human rights-the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter, and security." — United Nations.
Today on NPR, I heard that the United Nations is reviewing the results of its Millennium Goals...
I wrote a version of this short essay inspired by those goals for a collection of essays, Spirit of Service (Harper Collins, 2010), and I thought it timely to re-read and reflect on my original work...
“—Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future.—Barack Obama, the culmination of his inauguration address.
We often feel like others have more influence over the course of events than we do.
We especially feel this way when we are tested with such big, intractable, and really hard problems: hunger, poverty, disease, genocide and environment sustainability to name a few. We think that as long as these problems are not in our backyards, we do not need to stand up and take action. It’s for others, the government, to be graded on anyway.
In his inaugural address, with a heavy snow on the streets of Washington, D.C., on January 20, 1961, another President challenged this stance by declaring: “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” A lesser known line follows that widens this vision: “My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”
We have dithered too long over the idea that others will do what we can and must do as citizens of the world. The United Nations has outlined eight millennium goals to raise up the people of the world. Together, we must go forward into the journey of the 21st century.
—Understand the eight specific millennium goals outlined at www.un.org (http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/)
— Join the hundreds of millions across the globe working to impact the UN Millennium Goal #1 – eradicating extreme poverty and hunger across the world by 2015.A focused global effort to show support for the fight against poverty and for the UN millennium development goals is being organized by Stand Up and Take Action, a global advocacy group. Locally, use your influence to organize a teach-in about world poverty and the UN millennium goals.
Personal Post Script, June, 2015: This goal of eradicatin, extreme poverty and hunger certainly wasn't reached. War in too many places intervened. In the United States poverty, is now eloquently termed "income inequality." But the fight must go on. In the United States: 15 dollar minimum wage is a start. What other ways to jump start this campaign on a local and global level?
And if you are looking for a compelling summer read consider my new young adult novel: BEFORE MY EYES (St. Martin's Press, 2014)