February 1, 2009

Mandela congratulates Obama

Posted in Environment, Friendship, Philosophy, Politics, South Africa, USA politics tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:23 pm by randallbutisingh

Nelson Mandela sends congrats to Obama
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) – Here is the text of former South African President Nelson Mandela’s congratulatory letter yesterday to Barack Obama:

“Dear Mister President:

We are greatly honoured to join the millions around the globe congratulating you on taking office as the president of the United States of America . We believe that we are witnessing something truly historic not only in the political annals of your great nation, the United States of America , but of the world.
Your election to this high office has inspired people as few other events in recent times have done. Amidst all of the human progress made over the last century the world in which we live remains one of great divisions, conflict, inequality, poverty and injustice.
Amongst many around the world a sense of hopelessness had set in as so many problems remain unresolved and seemingly incapable of being resolved. You, Mister President, have broght a new voice of hope that these problems can be addressed and that we can in fact change the world and make of it a better place.
We are in some ways reminded today of the excitement and enthusiasm in our own country at the time of our transition to democracy. People, not only in our country but around the world, were inspired to believe that through common human effort injustice can be overcome and that together a better life for all can be achieved.
Your presidency brings hope of new beginnings in the relations between nations, that the challenges we all face, be they economic, the environment, or in combating poverty or the search for peace, will be addressed with a new spirit of openness and accommodation.
There is a special excitement on our continent today, Mister President, in the knowledge that you have such strong personal ties with Africa . We share in that excitement and pride.
We are aware that the expectations of what your presidency will achieve are high and that the demands on you will be great. We therefore once more wish you and your family strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years that lie ahead.
You will always be in our affection as a young man who dared to dream and to pursue that dream. We wish you well.”
Sincerely,
Signed N R Mandela
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May 1, 2008

REDUCING POVERTY IN AFRICA

Posted in Economics, Education, Environment, Poetry, Religion, Thoughts tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:32 am by randallbutisingh

Thought for today:

REDUCING POVERTY IN AFRICA

This is my letter to Brian and Kristen Konkol, recently appointed as missionaries in South Africa. They are dedicated and committed individuals, who were missionaries in Guyana before moving to South Africa a few months ago. They are now settling in and have asked my advice on: “How to reduce Poverty in Africa”. Here is my reply dated April 21, 2008. Your comments and advice on this most important subject are welcome. Feel free to contact Brian and Kristen Konkol with your help and ideas at:

(bekonkol@yahoo.com

………………………………………………………………………………..

To: Brian and Kristen Konkol:

Before I attempt to give my opinion on “how to reduce Poverty in Africa”, I will attempt to define Poverty. In my opinion Poverty is a relative term. How? An individual may have very little, and it takes very little to sustain life. He may live in a one room shack with one or no shirt on his back, but he works honestly for the little that he has; he is always cheerful and will gladly share the little he has and his shack with a needy stranger. He is the personification of contentment; his conscience is clear, his sleep at night is sound and unbroken and he lives without fear. Would you call such an individual poor?

On the other hand a person may be laden with this world’s goods, like an overburdened camel, much more above his needs; But he is the personification of greed; he cannot have enough; he is discontented; always wants more and more, never shares what he has with the needy for concern that it will diminish him. This makes him grouchy, irritable, and cheerless. His sleep at nights is unsound and broken because of fear that someone may come and rob him of what he has. Would you call such an individual rich?

Now, how about reducing Poverty in Africa! Africa is a continent, beautiful and potentially rich, but it has been exploited by foreigners and recently, after independence by its own leaders. There were very few leaders, among them being Nelson Mandela, who did not succumb to the plague of corruption. Billions of the country’s wealth and foreign aid have been stashed away in foreign banks by corrupt politicians while those whom they have been supposed to serve go hungry.

This brings us to the question of education. If the populace is not adequately educated in order to understand the issues and the ability to confront injustice wherever it rears its ugly head, exploitation and corruption will continue to have a field day. Recently two benevolent Americans have been working in this field. They are Oprah Winfrey who is spending millions to educate over a hundred girls in South Africa to become leaders in the future and Bill Clinton who is spending millions to improve Agriculture in one of the countries in Africa.

It should also be noted that Poverty is an attitude in some of the countries. The men leave all the hard work to the women. When they do not hunt or fish, they gather in groups and idle away their time while the women work in the fields. Recently a group of women banded together in a community, and refused to slave for their idle husbands.

We need people who can educate, motivate and inspire these people, raising them from their present level, especially the women to one of respectability. Here is where you and Kirsten can fit in and I know that with the meager physical resources you have but the abundance of will, dedication and commitment, you will make things happen.

Africa does not need to be spoon fed. But while they are given the tools to progress, effort should be made meanwhile to eliminate hunger and disease. You cannot preach to a hungry man about God; you have to fill his belly first.

Remitting of debts will be of little help if attitudes do not change.

Love, joy and peace,

Randall

randallbutisingh@hotmail.com

April 22, 2008

AGRICULTURE, A NOBLE PROFESSION

Posted in Economics, Environment, Philosophy, Poetry, Thoughts tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:38 pm by randallbutisingh

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:

AGRICULTURE, A NOBLE PROFESSION
and the peasant the most important of all people.

Excerpts from poem, THE DESERTED VILLAGE
BY OLIVER GOLDSMITH (1728 – 1774)

“Ill fares the land to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay;
Princes and lords may flourish or may fade,
A breath can make them, as a breath has made;
But a bold peasantry, their country’s pride,
When once destroyed can never be supplied.”

— Oliver Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith is one of my favourite poets. In the poem
above he depicts the destruction of the peasantry when they
were evicted from the land by greedy landowners. Many were forced by  to leave the land and hie to the towns where they worked long hours, for hard task masters, in an unhealthy environment for meagre wages and suffered poverty and ill health. This is what happens in any part of the world where wealth accumulates to the few who sit on it, while the majority labour for a pittance to continue to feed their greed.
Injustice, an evil can only flourish for a time.  The DAY of reckoning is not far off.
— Randall Butisingh