Hurray for Hollywood, as we development & aid workers say
It’s a Thursday in July, let’s go to the movies!
Sorry, this isn’t a post about George Clooney, Bono, Angelina Jolie or Matt Damon (as much of a heartthrob as he is). It’s about movies and the ones that have, surprisingly, provided me with interesting insights, courage and perspective on my journey as a development and aid worker. Some are pull-at-your-heartstrings, but don’t expect The African Queen, The Constant Gardener, Blood Diamond or The Lion King (I’ve never even seen the Lion King, I know that’s why you like me). They’re everyday flicks. And that’s the point, isn’t it? While development and aid work is extraordinary, it isn’t unusual or odd. Because it takes you to a lot of tough places to deal with a lot of uncomfortable issues, it’s just not something a lot of people choose to do. PDT boss man Scott Gilmore will tell you you should. I agree. And if you do, perhaps these films will serve as a guide to make the journey a bit easier.
Just because you’re from the West doesn’t mean that you are superior or have all the answers. And don’t assume that you know what’s best for those you’re trying to help. Whether they’re in Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East, people from the developing world have smarts and spirit. The Truman Show:
Just because it’s the war room doesn’t mean you can fight there. Ah, development: the world of acronyms, run-on sentences and meaningless statements. Sometimes it feels like science fiction. Dr. Strangelove:
“This is it Joel. It’s going to be gone soon. What do we do?”
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