I write in a small shadowed corner
in order to bear light into the world,
though the light is not my own.
My darkness is no darkness to you
and nothing you should wish upon yourself,
but my light shall also be your light,
in which we shall see differently
but gloriously. I am not lame inside me,
no matter that I drag my foot, I have run here
through all my infirmities to bring you news
of a battle already won. Let my last breath
speak victory into the world. The race is run
and shall be run again, joyfully, and you shall
run with me, the territory opened
to us like returned laughter
or remembered childhood. Remember,
I was here, and you were here,
and together we made a world.
From Everything is waiting for you/David Whyte
Before I have started to write my blog I wanted to note verses above. “I was here and you were here and together we made a world”. Should not this idea need to be out star guide thorugh our life? Some kind of motivation for our professional dedication?
I think nobody can gives us perfect recepie how our ife should looks like. Making our life better place to live is reason that make us constantly moving, developing and exploring. There are no so many books that can us inspire. Specially, if you love poetry you’ll win double jack pot with reading Crossing the Unknown Sea.
Honestly speaking, how many of us have energy to do self examination? To ask ouselves where we are and where we have to go? Do we have vision? Some direction in which we should go? Some motivation that will push us to go forward?
“Work is not a static endpoint . . .but a journey and a pilgrimage in which the core elements of our being are tested in the world.” (Crossing the Unknown Sea, page 24). We have to be challenged all time. We have to find challenges in our life again and again.
David Whyte is an author “Crossing the Unknown Sea” is a book full of metaphors which takes a reader on a metaphorical sea voyage enabling us better understanding role of work in our lives. The sea crossing metaphor – leaving shore and sailing mid ocean on to a distant land – helped me in capturing the difficulty of self-work. Using this journey I have facilitated a deep understanding of both the self-discovery process and knowing oneself. Also, there us another side of our life story. In human nature, we are afraid of unknown situations, unknown pathways we have to cross. Usually, during our life, risky situations are brought to us and decisions and choices have to be made. Some of them are afraid of taking risks, staying stucked in their every day realities. But, some of them are ready to make one step further, to try to explore something what is unknown for them. They have courage to do that since all time they are looking for unexplored fields, situations, stories and challenges.
Each of us got to stand up right where he is standing. There will not be a magical moment in the future when the house is perfectly clean, every bill is paid, the kids have jobs, the car is tuned, and suddenly everything is in alignment. There will not be that perfect moment to reveal the inner core of yourself, come out of hiding, and stand naked in the world. There is never a convenient time to start living out all of the dreams that have been held in abeyance. “A life’s work is not a series of stepping-stones onto which we calmly place our feet, but more like an ocean crossing where there is no path, only a heading, a direction, which of itself, is in conversation with the elements.”
At the end, I realized, “out of what is hidded, we make the visible and then call it work, work that makes sense of the hours we are privileged to live”. (page 223)
For funs of poetry, works and biography of David Whyte can be found here.
Book: THE LONG WALK TO FREEDOM
The Long Walk to Freedom talks about the life of Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa and one of the exemplary political leadership in the world. Mandela faced many challenges including spending 27 years in prison. However, he still had the vision of winning the fight against racial oppression and he became South Africa’s first black President 10 May 1994 .He continued to take care of his people.
-VISION: I have learned that great leadership starts with a clear and strong Vision. In the book, Mandela notes that he realized that he was not the only one that was not free, but others who look like him were trapped too. That is why he developed the desire to one day see his people living a life of dignity and self-respect. He decided to fight long enough to see the day where black and white would be equal, no matter what it takes. He could already see the end result of the effort to Liberate the people.
-Leadership is not about you, but about people, and every single person matters. Treat everyone in your leadership walk with respect and honour. Treat each each person as if they are the only ones that exist and matter at that moment.
-Allow yourself to be inspired by the giftedness of other people: It is important to seek inspiration from others at it would support your leadership. In order to inspire others people, one must have inspiration from someone else. I am already inspired by the fact that Mandela started his leadership movement in the African National Congress by following the example of Mahadma Gandi, that Nonviolence is the key to winning the fight. South Africa those days was filled with hatred and people were driven by revenge, but Mandela ordered for no person to be killed, as they were bombing places. It was not easy, but he notes that he would always try to avoid violence. 16 December 1961, to blast the symbolic places of apartheid without killing anyone. After the assassination of ANC leader Chris Hani, he appealed for calmness and for all South Africans. It led to democratic elections on 27 April the following year.
-In order to win, a leader need courage when facing hard times. If a leader shows weakness during this time, others will follow the example and the battle would be lost. It took real courage for Mandela to go through leaving his family all the time to hide or plan other operations, as well as spending so much time in prison, but he was thinking of others and not only himself. He notes that “It was this desire for the freedom of my people to live their life in dignity and self-respect that animated my life that transformed a frightened young man into a bold one, and drove a law abiding attorney to become a criminal, that turned a family loving man into a monk.”
-Acknowledge Failure all the time as nobody is perfect. Mandela notes that it is his failure that made him realize where he was going wrong and therefore he could try to get back on track. Arrogance will not work..When you make a mistake, do not shy away from admitting that you are wrong.
-Do not be stopped by setbacks. Mandela had many setbacks in his leadership. People were killed, his family was constantly harassed. His wife was arrested, meaning that their children were left without parents during that time.He ended up in prison, but he believed that he would liberate his people one day. Whilst in prison Mandela undertook study with the University of London by correspondence through its External Programme and received the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Even though Mandela was in prison for life, he was preparing for leadership outside. He was preparing for leadership outside. He believed that he would play a role, and an important role, in bringing about freedom for people in South Africa, in winning the liberation war. Then he seriously prepared himself for that.
-Show interest in your opponents. There will always be people who disagree with your leadership style and what you do. You will gain respect when you recognize and believe in the good others who are not on your side. You win them to your side. Do it both in privately and publicly.
-Great leaders know how to let go make themselves replaceable: Do not hold on to power for too long. Give others a chance. Mandela stepped down and voluntarily handed over the reins of power to Thabo Mbeki in 1999.This act shows that as a leader, he believed in democracy and freedom. Mandela tried to motivate other leaders in Africa, not to be selfish in leadership. He tried to convince Mugabe to hand over, before being voted out by his own people, which will ruin him. Mugabe didn’t listen and had to face consequesnce. I am glad that my President, Sam Nuuyoma, followed this example, and also voluntarily handed over leadership to Hifikepunye pohamba, who is to date, leading or country in peace.THAT IS GREAT LEADERSHIP!
John C.Maxwell has mentioned in this book about the traits and the qualities that make a ‘Leader’.The concept of leadership he relates with the influence that a person exerts on the lives of the other.As the result of this influence,he becomes the leader and has the people following you.
The leader also needs to have a vision to make a ground for his followers.Without vision,he is not going to have followers and that vision he has to own,this way his followers will work with him to achieve the goals envisaged in the vision.
He also explores the significance of the ‘Attitude’that a leader must posses in order to bind the force of people with him.He can’t lose the people which are his most valuable asset.In order to have the support of his followers,he needs to understand what they want to achieve.This he can only understand when he comes upto thier level and start associating himself with them.He must have empathy and the attitude to understand their emotions and feelings.
He also discusses there are many things that you can develop within you to being a leader.He is not negating the fact that you are born leader but at the same time he also argues that the values such as influence,changing of attitude and getting to understand people you can develop within you.All you have to do is just to think yourself as a leader and that you have to lead.As Maxwell talks in the following link about this feature:
He also talks aobut the importance of priorities that the leader also needs to set the right priorities in order to make it clear that what he wants to achieve.In this selection he needs to make the best choice as to what priorities lead to the way of the accomplishment of goals.He also needs to take his followers into confidence and needs to win thier trust.When he wins the trust of his followers then he can introduce the change he wants to make and his followers will put their efforts to bring out these positive changes envisioned by their leader.When they are drawn to their leader then they will follow him and do the task they are not obligated to.This change is linked with the development that is only possible with the right attitude and vision of the leader.
I think this book is very simple to understand,though sometimes it gets very boring when it comes to the theoretical part.But to getting know the various roles of a leadership and the way Maxwell has mentioned examples from daily lives has made it quite easy for me to understand the concept of leadership in broad spectrum.He has not only given the examples of leaders like Napolean and Abraham Lincoln and many others great leaders but also talked about that how even being not in position we influence others and make impact on others’ lives as leaders.
My book gave an Air Force view on Leadership and Management. Although it was written for an explicit audience, don’t let that deter you from reading it; the authors reach a good balance between general leadership theory/examples and those that are military-specific. The book’s wide range of concepts have definite application beyond that singular group. With chapters on issues such as conflict management, motivation, power and influence, and problem solving, the authors are able to address quite an extensive spread of challenges and principles. The volume of theory and examples add value to the book, but they can, at times, be overwhelming. Large parts of the book are approached more as a literary review, which proves for a dull read.
Overall, I’d say the book is a valuable collection of examples and theory. It is an efficient collaboration for leadership development.
As is customary, the morning after Thanksgiving retailers open their doors at God-forsaken hours of the morning with ridiculous deals on merchandise. This year, however, more retailers opened their doors on Thursday night than had ever been seen before. This brings up controversial topics in regards to the extreme that capitalism has reached in American society. Thanksgiving, a holiday always reserved for the family, is now being taken over by retailers (and, in turn, taking retailers away from their families). As if Friday at 3:00am wasn’t early enough?
I just heard this quote and thought I would share:
“Opportunity is often missed because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like hard work” – Albert Einstein.
This quote comes at the absolute perfect time in my life. On Monday, I was told that my Air Force instructors chose ME to be the Director of Training for next semester. This is a VERY prestigious position (3rd highest), where I will be responsible for all of the training for 160 people, freshmen through seniors. It is very rare that juniors are given this opportunity, but they chose me explicitly. On Wednesday, they told me that they want me to do a complete overhaul of the program. They want me to change everything, to rebuild it from the ground up. This truly is an incredible opportunity to make an impact, and to really mold this organization. It’s going to be tough (I’m currently developing 15 2-hour long lesson plans) but I know that as long as I keep the right state of mind, I will do great things.
For my leadership book report, I read Tribes by Seth Godin.
My favorite quote in the book which sums up the basic point of what Godin is trying to say is this: “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People follow.”
Using case studies, bullet-point lists and encouraging stories of success, Godin argues that the world needs you to be a leader, but it’s up to you to decide to take that position.
Once a person chooses to take the lead, they need to assemble a loyal following or tribe. Tribes, according to Godin, are made of people with a shared interest and way to communicate.
The best example of modern day tribes would be on social media networks. Twitter fans, Facebook friends, blog readers, YouTube subscribers are all authentic, functioning tribes who are interested in a certain topic, love to talk about it and seek out news and information from key influential leaders. Whether it be about makeup, politics, technology or music, fans or followers are very important to the success and growth of an idea.
The movement doesn’t have to be big though. You don’t need 1 million YouTube subscribers to necessarily be a leader. Godin says it’s a big mistake to just think about having a big following. Instead, good leaders should focus on tightening their tribe.
Here are also five things leaders should do in order to start their own movement:
1) Publish a manifesto to share your mission with members,
2) Make it easy for followers to connect with you media
3) Make it easy for followers to connect with one another
4) Realize that money is not the point of a movement
5) Track your progress publicly so followers can contribute
With social media and new forms of communication, anyone can have their voice heard which makes it really easy to take the initiative and take chances.
Some helpful online tools I have found for leaders and change-makers include:
-Change.org, a site where anyone can start a petition, mobilize supporters and enact real change
-Mashable.com, for news and stories on marketing, media and more
-Ashoka, investing in solutions for the world’s toughest problems
This post is not in any way related to Journalism, “social media”, leadership or management. That being said, let Tye take you on a tour of American Culture:Not sure how many of the Humphrey Fellows are familiar with Hip Hop, but it’s an American-born-and-bred artistic movement.
In the Fall 2011 issue of American Journalism Review, the article titled “Out of the Shadows” stood out to me for its shocking coverage of sexual violence against journalists–women AND men.
Being a journalist is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, especially for international correspondents. The article discusses the high-profile case of Lara Logan in Egypt but also Umar Cheema, a Pakistani political reporter who was kidnapped and sodomized in Isllamabad.
The Committee to Protect Journalists put out a report in june and the article said that the torture of a male journalist like Cheema was extremely rare. Lauren Wolfe, the senior editor and author of the report, also researched how frequent sexual violence was against journalists. Even though sexual abuse and sex crimes are hardly reported out of fear or shame, Wolfe received responses from over four dozen journalists.
I find it so sickening that sex is used as a tool of terror and that honest, hardworking media professionals are subjected to such violence while on the job. The article mentions that journalists don’t report violence because they fear being a “failure in the job or experiencing a career setback.”
But what kind of support does the media industry have to help journalists who have experienced trauma and abuse? Wolfe investigated six or seven news organizations about their policies and found they either had nothing substantial or answered that they always trained reporters for all situations.
I was glad to hear there are groups like the International News Safety Institute, Reporters Without Borders and South Asian Women in Media, but I wonder what other kind of training is necessary for journalists to be properly prepared. Mandatory self-defense classes, maybe?
In another one of the best speeches of the 2011 TEDxPhoenix conference, Kelli Anderson spoke of her passion for creating “disruptive wonder.” Her belief is that the world is full of order that doesn’t necessarily deserve our respect. One should look for the hidden talents of every day things and notice the ritual as it becomes empty gesture. We approach every day things with certain expectations, which led her to the creation of one of her best-known “disruptions”: The fake newspaper. In this perfectly duplicated copy of the “New York Times,” she and her team substituted real articles for utopian articles – ones that read of governments apologizing for their faults, lasting peace, and sane economic plans – and even redid the advertisements. Follow the link below for more details, pictures, and reaction footage (that’s definitely worth watching).
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the TEDxPhoenix conference on 11 November 11. One of the most surprising speeches came from a video game designer, Brenda Brathwaites. I had expected the speech to be wonderful and inspiring (it IS TEDx…), but it blew me away. Her talk was not about overcoming obstacles as a female in a typically male field, it was about overcoming obstacles in our education system through games. She told a heartbreaking story of how she taught her daughter the true significance of the slave trade’s middle passage through – you guessed it – a game. This sparked the first of a six-part series of games designed to teach children the moral implications behind the events that are taught so scientifically in the classroom.
Joe Paterno, the former football coach at Penn State, is enduring a huge barrage of media attention because of child sex scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant coach, that Paterno did not sufficiently report when he found out. Paterno was fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees before he got to retire at the end of the football season after his 46 year-long career, because the allegations are so serious and grave.
In order to navigate the complicated situation, Paterno has hired a crisis communications expert from TMG Strategies. So far, Paterno has issued a statement on the matter: ”This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
The whole case has people bitterly divided with emotion as well. Students are currently rioting at Penn State in protest of Paterno’s firing, as he is considered a beloved, legendary part of the school. The media has been all over the angry chaos going on at Penn State, which is creating a difficult image for the university to control. Ashton Kutcher got some negative feedback when he tweeted his support for Joe Paterno, unaware of the whole scandal behind his firing.
I think Penn State will definitely have to work hard to rebuild a respectable image of accountability and trust with the public, students and community, especially the victims’ families.
Some questions to think about:
Are the students trivializing the sexual abuse allegations in order to defend their university’s sport team or is there more to the story?
By getting a PR expert, is Paterno helping or harming himself in his quest to defend his innocence?
What should other colleges and universities do in reaction to the Penn State scandal and to prepare themselves should something similar happen?
Joe Paterno, the former football coach at Penn State, is enduring a huge barrage of media attention because of child sex scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant coach, that Paterno did not sufficiently report when he found out. Paterno was fired from his position before he got to retire at the end of the football season after his 46 year-long career.
In order to navigate the complicated situation, Paterno has hired a crisis communications expert. So far, Paterno has issued a statement on the matter: ”This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
After we got the seating order figured out, the joint Humphrey-Murrow session yesterday was really enlightening for me. It had never occurred to me how the immigration crisis in Arizona would be perceived by intelligent, international observers.
A few things about the Murrow Fellows’ reactions were surprising to me:
- Fixation on the physical border fence in Nogales
- Insistence that Americans should feel a deep sense of shame for this situation
- Lack of interest in why Americans (or rather, Arizonans) are reacting as they are to immigration
All of this adds up to treating “immigration” as a topic or an event in Arizona, rather than as an active problem with tangible causes and solutions. Though I wasn’t expecting this reaction, I completely understand it. Our guests were right to point out the hypocrisy of having a border fence in The Land of the Free. Our guests were right to say we should care more how the border fence looks as a symbol internationally. Our guests were justified in focusing on the visible, symbolic aspects of the immigration crisis, because that’s all they really got a chance to see.
As journalists in Arizona, however, I think myself and the other attaches need to consider more real-world aspects of the situation. What factors make border immigration dangerous, besides the desert? What social services and networks are now available to immigrants, legal and non-, and are these fair? How are language and cultural barriers affecting perceptions?
And the best question of the day, asked by Shaima:
Have we made immigration about Joe Arpaio, or Joe Arpaio about immigration?
But in conclusion, I’d like to stress how fascinating and amazing it was to hear the opinions of the Murrow Fellows and Humphrey Fellows (and Goran). Only good things can happen when great journalistic minds from across the world talk together openly for two hours, and receive Saguaro-shaped cookies at the end.
After our discussion about the complexity of the immigration issue in the United States and the border conflict with Mexico, I was curious to see how the discourse about the Eritrea-Ethiopia border dispute has been and whether there are any signs of a solution.
Just for a little history, Eritrea is a East African country and former Italian colony that borders Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti. The Eritrean Liberation Front and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front were the two separatist groups fighting the Ethiopian government to win Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia in 1961. After 30 years of war, Eritreans voted in a referendum for independence from Ethiopia in 1993 and was recognized officially by the United Nations.
Unfortunately a vote for independence is not that simple, because then came the task of defining the boundaries of these two independent states. This created tension between the Eritrean and Ethiopian governments and led to a war between 1998 and 2000. A boundary commission was created by the Algiers Agreement to assess the conflict after fighting stopped. There are reports of more confrontations since then up until 2010 between the two states. As of 2011, Ethiopia is in control of the town of Badme even though the commission ruled that it rightfully belonged to Eritrea. Both countries are still training and deploying a standing army at the border according to a 2008 UN report along with UN peacekeeping forces.
What I find so troubling is all the time, energy and resources put into this war and all the lives lost when no concrete, real solution was found. It really shows how right former President Oscar Arias is about how useless and harmful armies are when there are so many important social, economic, and humanitarian problems that need to be funded. Eritrea has so many issues that its secretive, repressive authoritarian regime refuses to acknowledge in order to maintain a facade of stability and prosperity that warrants respect and fear on the international arena. It has a current negative spotlight on it because of accusations of supporting the Somali militant group, al Shabab.
I did find a website created with a focus on the Eritrea-Ethiopia Conflict that appears to be written from a sympathetic Eritrean perspective. It puts the blame on Ethiopia for not committing to peaceful means to solve the border issue.
Ethiopia continues to demand that Eritrea must unilaterally and unconditionally withdraw from areas Ethiopia claims and that Ethiopia administers these areas as a precondition. If not, it goes to war.
I wonder if a border commission that brought responsible and important officials from the US and Mexico would help the dialogue, even though it obviously hasn’t brought results for Eritrea and Ethiopia yet. The way Eritrea has used its border issue to justify sacrifices in human rights and freedom isn’t too far from what the United States could do if we allow extreme voices to dominate the immigration discourse and let facts be dismissed. We need to operate by our values and live by them with each policy and agreement we make.
Relating to the Humphrey Seminar on November 7:
The immigration problem has a solve that can be explained short but, of course, is not simple. It’s all about poverty. If one day Mexico, living conditions in Mexico will be close to equal to U. S. Standards, this issue will be gone… Almost gone, not fully, as fully it will never happen.
Simple comparison is at the north ot the USA – border with Canada never had such a level of immigration issues.
Regarding my part of my country example – once China will provide to it’s citizens same wealth that they can get nowadays in Russia, immigration issues would be gone – or, more specifically, lowered to just-above-zero level.
I had the unique opportunity to meet with Dr. Oscar Arias, former president of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, on 3 separate occasions during his visit to ASU from 30 October to 1 November 2011. Two of those occasions were in 10-15 person Q&A-style forums and the 3rd was at the reception following his Fulbright Centennial Lecture, which I also had the pleasure of attending. At the end of his short stay, he gave me some key advice, which I will share with you here:
He stressed the importance of “clarity of thought.” You must be consistent with your positions and reasoning and you must never give up so much in the course of negotiations to lose sight of your goals and values. This, he said, has been one of the main problems with today’s leadership. Either they are unclear of what they want, or they want the wrong things. By making peace a priority, one can then focus the resources that would have been spent on military on health, education, infrastructure and foreign aid. “You cannot build a paradise,” he continued, “within your borders if there is an inferno outside them.”
This semester has been an interesting leadership development opportunity for me. I am an Air Force ROTC Flight Commander, in charge of 9 people. It may not seem like a lot, but of those 9 people, 7 are first-semester freshmen. Not only have I been responsible for their development as cadets, brand-new to the program, but I have been their primary mentor through a critical transition period of their lives. I have helped them adjust to the college lifestyle, being away from their friends and family, being stressed and overworked, learning how to study in college, learning how to balance so many extra demands on their time, and – on top of all of that – learning the basics of the military way of life and military values. I am part director, part friend, part older sibling, part disciplinarian, part teacher, part coach, part boss, and part role-model. It’s a full-time job.
One of the hardest things for me has been discovering where to draw the line with leadership/management styles. Where it is important for me to make them feel included, safe, valued and helpful, it is also equally important to make them productive and effective members of the team (including taking corrective action when necessary). On one hand, I have dealt with incompetence, unreliability, faults in integrity, confusion, lack of clarity as well as stolen bicycles, failed tests, rough breakups and quasi-illegal activity; on the other, I have witnessed flawless execution, outstanding professionalism, obvious improvement, personal growth, gains in confidence, impressive dedication and tears when faced with the thought of leaving my Flight next semester. I have stressed the importance of family (because that’s what we are in ROTC), of personal growth and the pursuit of excellence (whether they reach it or not). I have done as much as I could physically do, and in many cases more, to make them as prepared as they can be to face the challenges they will encounter in college, in ROTC, and in their personal lives. My team has succeeded in the mission, I believe, as a direct result of this effort to push them to challenge their limits. It is a difficult balance between being a leader (people-oriented) and a manager (mission-oriented) and I am still developing my personal leadership style, but the experience that I gained over the course of this semester has been a solid start. (Below Left: Uniform inspection, below right: being motivated for the Halloween run)
On Tuesday evening at the Barrett Centennial Lecture, I finally got to hear the remarks from former Costa Rican president Oscar Arias on peace building for the coming generation. I was very intrigued by his belief that countries could and should demilitarize and focus on overcoming the socioeconomic barriers around the world. Arias said the human race is obsessed with violence and I was shocked by how much we have spent on war.
He cited two key statistics: Global arms spending was $1.63 trillion last year, which is 2.6% of the world’s GDP. Defense spending has going up 70% between 2001-2009.
“Poverty needs no passport to travel,” Arias said. Hunger, poverty and disease affect every one of us; wars and conflict are only results of social inequality, so by engaging in combat we are not treating the root of the problem.
Costa Rica abolished its army in 1948 and Arias said the government promised its people it would never see tanks and troops in the streets and would not invest in weapons, but tools.
“Security lies in human development,” he said. We should be investing in the process that makes violence unnecessary.
As president, Arias worked on three main projects to reduce militarization around the world. One project, the Costa Rican Census, created mechanisms to forgive debt and get international support. A second project was an arms trade treaty that prohibited the transfer of arms between states and individuals not in the army. A third project was the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Development, which is dedicated to supporting peace efforts and conflict resolution.
Arias said that people may think we are not ready to negotiate getting rid of armies during a time of war and crisis, but history tell us otherwise. He mentioned examples of progress toward peace during times of uncertainty like the creation of the United Nations and the Atlantic Charter.
He introduced the peace plan between Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, and El Salvador as president to address the conflict in the region because “it was as a necessity, it was a matter of survival.” He believed that there was no need to build a strong army to achieve peace and that Costa Rica has become so prosperous because its resources go towards education and the environment rather than weapons.
So far, he has been able to convince only Panama and Haiti to eliminate their armies. Sub-saharan Africa was difficult because poorer countries need a way to integrate soldiers into civilian life and compensate them.
“The dream of peace is no longer just a dream. It is an action in Costa Rica. There is no reason why it can’t live in other parts of the world,” Arias said. This left me on a hopeful note and determined to find a solution to the wasteful defense spending that not only the United States is guilty of.
What was interesting is that Arias did not believe that world peace could be achieved because he said there were too many dictatorships and territorial disputes that threaten stability.
“We need to have democracy because democracies don’t fight each other,” he said.