I get a lot of fodder for this blog from the NY Times and LA Times. It is a natural thing for an old man to get up in the morning and read the newspapers, and I don’t find it much different than it was in my own Dad’s day. He sat at the breakfast table and read the State Journal before beginning the day’s labor. I do the same. The only difference between Pop and I is that I get my news from the Internet. The Times, both of them, dutifully deliver the breaking news of the world to my inbox as regular as the sun coming up in the morning. My attachment to the LA Times goes back 40 some odd years when I lived in Imperial Beach and my whole world was southern California.
These days, I sit in the tower of the Beechler building in beautiful downtown Charlotte and spend a hell of a lot of time contemplating my navel. I find as I grow older that the news of the day is of utmost importance to me. Typically, I read the Times to find things of interest to blog about. This lovely morning in May, with the sun peeping through the blinds and a cool breeze soothing my soul, I read two articles. Both of them captured my interest.
The first, about Lurita Doan, is a political thing. I find myself obsessing on the ills of the political arena way too much, so decided to pass on this one. Folks are gonna start thinking I am some kind of radical rebel, or political activist if I don’t leave some of this shit alone. It just annoys the hell out of me, ya know?
I instead decided to write about something we all pretty much never think about, or probably don’t even care. The people of third world countries, especially Africa, have been in the news a lot lately. I first took interest once again in this after reading about the BOGO flashlight, and the man who developed it. We of a high tech nation think that something as common as a flashlight is not a thing to write about, and dismiss these thoughts out of hand. The capability of light in an African nation can mean the difference between life and death. The BOGO is used at night to help children learn to read and write by illuminating their classrooms. Wild animals are held at bay by something as simple as a flashlight. Who’da thought?
I read this AM about Kickstart, and the technology it is developing for third world nations. The article told of the billions of dollars spent to provide us with haute couture, wine labels, and the Maserati. It then went on to say that virtually nothing is spent on developing product for the billions of people that are in desperate straits. Kickstart does something about it.
The most prominent thing I saw on their website is a simple pump with which farmers can irrigate their fields. Because so much of Africa is without fuel or electricity, it is a man operated pump that takes advantage of the plentiful labor there. Methinks I shall think of that today when I jump in the shower, or turn o the tap for a cold glass of water.
I find myself once again humbled by these things. Rosie and I discussed this weekend the fact that we always bitch about how bad we have it, when other people are much more disadvantaged. The discussion arose from seeing a news story about a woman that gets up at 3 AM, has breakfast, gets in her car to drive to the bus station, and rides the bus for two hours to get to her job. Rosie jumps out of bed, takes a shower and puts on her makeup, and goes downstairs to work. Me? I get out of bed and walk 5 feet to my office and begin my day. No matter how bad we have it, there is always someone else who has it a lot worse. Food for thought…