Have you noticed how some politicians become statesmen following their years in office? Bill Clinton was controversial when he was president but he seems to be turning into one of our better ex-presidents. In a Time magazine cover article (October 1, 2012) Clinton shares reasons for his optimism that the world is getting better. He describes the work of CGI, the Clinton Global Initiative. Thus far it has distributed almost $70 billion and last month brought together Barak and Michelle Obama, Mitt Romney, the new presidents of Libya and Egypt, plus 50 additional current or former heads of state and others committed to improving world conditions.
Clinton identifies and documents progress in five areas where there has been “concrete, measurable and reproducible” progress:
- Cell phones bringing freedom. Clinton writes that technology opens communication and fosters equality. He cites research showing that “cell phones are one of the most effective advancements in history to lift people out of poverty.”
- Healthy communities that prosper. Examples show how major health crises are being combatted and averted in Haiti, Africa and elsewhere.
- Green energy that equals good business.
- Increased women’s’ roles stimulating productivity. “No society can truly flourish if it stifles the dreams and productivity of half its population…. It’s been proven that women tend to reinvest economic gains back into their families and communities more than men do.”
- A future perspective that encourages progress. Ponder this: “We have to define the meaning of our lives as something other than our ability to control someone else’s.”
How does this relate to us or to the people we work with? Younger people seem more motivated to make a difference in the world but shouldn’t this concern everybody, regardless of age or circumstances? Might God have a purpose for putting each of us here, at this time, in the places where we live? Couldn’t we make a difference in our worlds even without the international contacts or funds to replicate what CGI seeks to accomplish?
Please ask yourself, “At this place in life what can I do, however small, to make a lasting difference?” Others can sharpen your vision and help you take action. As long as you’re alive there is time to change the world. Please leave a comment.