Yesterday my Mum went to Malawi to visit my sister for the summer. My wife comes from Peru in South America so at times I get what I call a certain 'unease' at the problems with this world. Yesterday I was reading an article in an old copy of the New Yorker about the situation in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone was placed under the supervision of a UN beaurocrat and one of his first broadcasts contained the words 'your future is in your hands'. From that point on the rebels started to abduct civilians including women and children and chop off their arms or their hands. The article was the story of a guy in New York who tried to help by providing prosthetic limbs but he got caught up in the enormity of the situation and he failed because he was working as an independent.
It brought home the fact that in certain parts of this world things are getting worse. Young children are being abducted, brutalised and then becoming rebels. This circle goes on and on when the economic situation is bleak. It happens everywhere, I saw an article on the news about similar events in Uganda. I also heard of Al Quaeda suspects being arrested in Malawi. The New Yorker article was trying to say it is hopeless, the guy shouldn't have tried anything. I don't know if that is the case. People are individuals and they all want the same thing - something better.
One of the things I think should happen is that their vision should be lifted, they need something to aim at. I have a theory of what I call 'Lowest Common Denominator Syndrome' or LCD. Sooner or later people realise they live in the gutter and that is all they want but their aspiration can be lifted and it is up to us to try to do that. At the end of the day the only way things can get better is if we get rid of the LCD mind set and try to get people to raise their hopes.
Maybe you think I am geting too sentimental but I don't apologise for that. Art can get rid of LCD and that should be what art or literature is for.