By Elizabeth Platanova
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
I believe this quote by Eisenhower clearly signifies how I recently feel about the world. The developed countries in the world, to me, seem too obsessed with money and power that they forget about the past that brought them to where they are. For example, slavery in America was a huge issue for years, yet somehow we now focus less on the suppression that is still occurring around the world similar to our history, and instead, on spending money creating nuclear weapons and building up our army.
I think it is very important to consider that yes indeed the United States has come a long way since the time of slavery, however, that part of our history still exists. For countries still stuck in that part of history, we could be doing more. I believe countries who have the capital to make a difference should be doing so, instead of investing in their armies.
Basic human tendencies like kindness, understanding, and the love for each other should be driving us to help, not to create problems with the world. I never understood certain government’s and people’s fascination with destruction and war. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that our military is important and I respect our troops immensely, but when it ultimately comes down to it, I believe we all have the same desire to be at peace. Yet somehow, I find that the developed countries are so obsessed with the obstruction of it in the world.
To imagine, for me, a starving child with a dying family and a broken heart, brings me to tears. To think that I attend a University who’s tuition could probably feed thousands of people in developing countries makes me resent myself. At time I have caught myself thinking just how trivial my life is. It makes me thankful but also very sad because I realize that the problems, at least for now, lie within politics, government, and organization.
The point I am trying to make is that in our everyday lives, I feel that we get very caught up in trivial ideas and activities that we forget to stop and think about how lucky we are. Yes, this might sound very cliché but it is very true. I find myself doing it too much. Instead of thinking about how fortunate I am at times, I find myself getting obsessed with those L.L. Bean boots I have to buy or the new lulu lemon leggings that came out. As an individual in society, living in one of the most powerful nations in the world, I have set a goal for myself to try and be a little more aware of the world and a little bit more thankful. I find development economics so important to the world we live in today and I hope that people begin to realize that we are all human, and we all share the same desires on the inside.