Last night I attended what I thought was a high school choir production with guest soloist Denise Pelley, only to find out my daughter was singing in a benefit concert for Sudan! (Does anyone else get surprised like this by their teenagers?) In addition to being entertained by one of my favorite female soloists (besides Angela Mercer, of course), I was also surprised that Romeo Dallaire was there as a guest speaker. Pleasant surprise. His simple, but at times rather graphic, message can be boiled down to these compelling words he quoted from Sir Winston Churchill,’When we become a world power, we must take responsibility for humanity beyond our own borders’.In his comments, Dallaire also stated that Canada is the 11th most powerful nation in the world. Every Canadian with an annual income of over $30,000.00 is in the top 5% of the world’s wealthiest people. In addition to his thoughts, 2009 World Bank statistics show that in approximately 50 countries in the world, the nationals earn less than $2,000 annually, and in nearly half of the countries in the world, the average annual income is does not exceed $5,000.
To me the message is: Whether we feel like it or not, you and I are a world power. The resources we have at our disposal (even if you earn less than $30K per year) is staggering, when compared to the majority of humanity we share the planet with.
It makes me think. It makes me thankful and above all, I recognize that I must become more responsible.