The world is becoming One. But the game is being played according to rules set by the West. In process, we are seeing material gain and progress for developing nations – but also substantial loss. Ode asked leading opinion-makers in the developing countries what the West can learn that would improve Western life and create a better future for all humanity.
| October 2007 issue
The world is becoming One. But the game is being played according to rules set by the West. Where colonialism ultimately failed at running the world, Hollywood and the stock market are succeeding. In the process, we are seeing material gain and progress for developing nations—but also substantial loss. And Westerners may lose just as much in this as the rest of the world. The cultural richness and indigenous innovation that is in danger of being wiped out in Africa, Asia and Latin America by globalization could actually make Western societies healthier and happier. Here are 11 lessons the West can learn from the rest—which can improve Western life and create a better future for all humanity.
HUMILITY (Sri Lanka)
The real social security
The spirit of community provides happiness, support and hope in the poorest of nations. Whereas the West is built upon individualism and materialism. Kimanthi Mutua
One world, many truths
Finding the supreme truth only leads to conflict. Since truth always changes, the Jain religion in India focuses on non-violence.
Ubuntu for all!
African democracy, called Ubuntu, is focused on including everyone, whereas Western democracy, with its basis in majority rule, divides people and nations. Baffour Ankomah
Take the initiative
Asia, Africa and Latin America all host thriving cultures of entrepreneurship where people create work and provide inspiration, whereas the majority of people in the West work for large corporations. Seyi Oyesola
RAISING CHILDREN (Kenya)
Single working mothers fall back on their extended family and close friends for help, guidance and support.
THE VILLAGE (Tanzania)
Someone looking out for you
The village provides strong community ties that help people get by.
Zuhura Sinare Muro
Boost your country’s GNH today!
The King of Bhutan introduced the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) as opposed to focussing on GPN. This is based on the idea that true development of society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to compliment and reinforce each other.Lyonpo Jigmi Y. Thinley
The cradle of local food
Organic, local food is not new to the rest of the world. Farming organically is more profitable and less harmful to the environment. Vandana Shiva