"Wherever the poor are heard and respected," writes Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti's first democratically elected president, "the face of God is illuminated." In this book,he writes an epistle on behalf of the poor of his poverty-stricken country, the leader, who is also a priest, notes that one percent of people control 45 percent of Haiti's wealth. Eighty-five percent of the population cannot read and write. And over 500,000 children, mostly young girls, live in Haitian households as unpaid domestic workers — carrying water, cleaning house, doing errands, receiving no salary and no schooling. I read the above few lines in a book review and couldnt think of anything better to start with ... Dont you think its actually a global thing that he has focussed upon ? We read a lot many books on improving coomunication skills, self control and many other contemporary things , but how many of us actually pour our heart and mind to understand the reality around us ~ the facet of the people around us ; Do we actually feel the pain rather we look for the news of the geeks like recent discoveries, stock updates etc... Wake up friends, start living for the people for you are one of them !
I finished reading the book "Eyes of the Heart" recently. It is a short, passionate and an inspiring book that will actually shake your nerves. Aristide movingly describes the terrible poverty of Haiti, and cites historical statistics to argue that this poverty is created by outside forces that also create poverty elsewhere. The cure is that terror of the libertarian marketplace, the mobilization of the poor. True political democracy and true economic democracy must go hand in hand.
I felt like penning down these few Quotes from the book: (Worth reading!!)
"At home we are hungry. But if we sit home we will surely die. If we go to the street we may also die, but there at least is a glimmer of hope." "There will never be money enough, but there are people enough... A wealth of experience, knowledge, skill, energy and the power to mobilize resides with the poor. From this creativity, this panorama of human endurance of the poor in Haiti, and the poor in Mexico, and in Brazil, and Southeast Asia and Africa, and more and more of the poor in North America and Europe, we can learn."
"Do not confuse democracy with the holding of elections. Elections are the exam, testing the health of our system. Voter participation is the grade. But school is in session every day. Only the day-to-day participation of the people at all levels of government can breathe life into democracy and create the possibility for people to play a significant role in shaping the state and the society that they want." "Democracy asks us to put the needs and rights of people at the center of our endeavors. This means investing in people. Investing in people means first of all food, clean water, education and healthcare. These are basic human rights. It is the challenge of any real democracy to guarantee them."
"Remember that history moves in waves. We cannot expect to always live on the crests. We have to keep floating even when the waters ebb."
The poor in Haiti are part of the more than 1.3 billion people in the world who live on less than one dollar a day. We read about the unprecedented economic growth in the United States and other countries but forget that 3 billion people — half the population of the world — live on less than two dollars a day. To make things worse, globalization is having dire effects on the poor's peasant economy. Aristide discusses the eradication of the Haitian Creole pig population in the 1980s as one example. Hearty local pigs were killed with the promise that better pigs would replace them; however, the peasants found they could not afford to raise the new stock from Iowa, which needed pure drinking water and imported feed. To really help the poor, Aristide calls for the creation of more local collectives, the establishment of literacy programs, and the participation of all people in the process of democracy.