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OVBIAGELE: Haitian effort promotes unity

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While many around the world were still basking in the New Year’s euphoria, the people of Haiti got the short end of the stick, ushering in 2010 with tears and mourning.

After tragedy struck in Haiti, the images were horrific. There were stacks of dead bodies, wailing children, rubble, and both young and old fighting for their lives.

In the face of the turmoil, the people of Haiti were in dire need of a hero, and the world was there.

Within 48 hours of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, foreign aid from many countries poured in.

Haiti is filled with rescuers from every part of the world, the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, who are carrying out medical operations with limited resources.

It was a collective response worth its weight in gold. We haven’t seen such worldwide goodwill and sympathy since the southeast Asian tsunami of 2004.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “All men are caught up in the same inescapable network of mutuality.” And we as a world realized that.

Now this got me thinking, what if national governments could put their selfish bargains aside to work together for the common good on other issues, as they did in Haiti?

I am not as naive as to think this would happen anytime soon, because when it comes to international politics, every leader is a realist. A classic dog-eat-dog scenario.

But looking at how far we’ve come as a world, which is not far enough, it would not be wishful thinking to give a shout out to world peace.

We are a torn world plagued by immense distrust and narcissism. We have become a bleeding world structurally fractured by war, terrorism and poverty.

More than 70 percent of the world’s population still lives on less than a dollar a day, conflicts in the Middle East and Africa still abound and nuclear weapons have become a favorite pasttime of nations.

It is clear that whatever it is we’re doing isn’t working. Our tools are blunt, our noble dreams are fast fading away and our wills are measured by the size of our guns.

So how about we try something different?

How about we apply the same level of global cooperation we have shown in Haiti in the last week on every global issue of importance?

How about we put aside our differences and work together for a common good free of hidden agendas?

Some might call this a far-fetched dream, but what’s wrong with being a dreamer? Martin Luther King Jr. was once a dreamer, too, and when we look at race relations today we can say sometimes dreams do come true.

So with that, I say that in spite of the suffering, chaos and struggling of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in world peace.

I have a dream that one day, my future children will live in a world where they aren’t plagued with fears of nukes, terrorism and social injustices.

A world where they won’t be profiled at airports by their last name, the clothes they wear and the country they’re from.

I have a dream that one day, world leaders will seek diplomacy over war, words over guns and the dignity of every human would be respected regardless of nationality or religion.

I have a dream today, as King said, that one day the jangling discords of our world will be transformed into a beautiful symphony of harmony and love.

And when this happens, when peace rings from every village to every hamlet, from Darfur to Afghanistan, from Somalia to Gaza, we will be able to fast forward to that day when all of humanity will sing the words of Bob Marley: One love. One heart.

Food For Thought: United we stand, divided we fall.

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