Somehow, I thought the segment on communication and development was going to be different. While I am known to sometimes look too literally at words and phrases, sometimes maybe I didn’t look hard enough. I was honestly kind of disappointed when I discovered that the segment was on education. It’s not that I’m against education, and it does make sense to use education as a vehicle for development, but that I thought we were going to learn more about access. This might be my uberliberal side poking through, but education is not the only thing that separates the haves from the have-nots, undeveloped countries from developed ones. Yes, teaching the youth in the Third-World about AIDS/HIV and being tolerant to a host of issues is great, but what is the US’ excuse? We are ‘developed’ but we’ve still got a lot to learn about tolerance and diseases that run rampant in this country.
I want to talk about access. I want to talk about entrepreneurship and how people can bring development to their region. I want to talk about the goals of the people. I want to talk about what people think development is, and through that, what measures can we take work together to achieve our goals. I say I want to talk because this is a discussion that I am sure does not happen on a regular basis. In our academic institutions, there is hardly enough diversity to scratch the surface of understanding our goals and the goals of people around us. Even in theory/practice courses, when we try to see what this means, we still are hindered by our own perspective. It is simple enough to think that we do not know what the other guy is thinking or experiencing, yet people still refuse to internalize that to understand what that means. Then we can have some discussion, then we can have some progress.
12/09 an update: My friend posted this on my facebook. It kind of makes fun of communication education in the US through Dora the Explorer.