In the far west corner of Texas, in the city of El Paso, the campus of the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP), majestically adorns the barren face of the Franklin Mountains.
Built in Bhutanese Architecture, it invites all imagination to a profoundly spiritual state. As though the very notion of edification will bring one closer to God. Inspiring one to reach for that desirous unknown as an acolyte would, worshipping his promising deity.
Less than half a mile to the south, seen from the crime ridden, dusty and famine blown shanty houses of Juarez, Mexico, UTEP beckons onlookers proudly and invitingly. A clear picture of richness, fortune and progress. One can imagine a young teenager looking across the river, fence and highway at the picture in front, wondering and asking; "WHY?" For such fortune and opportunity are completely unavailable to him or her - so close, yet …
What do you tell a child full of life, when teacher, parent and Bible tells him that bettering himself is reaching for paradise. Yet his reaching gaze and outstretched arms find only the madness of mankind and barriers in front. For whether looking across Rio Grande, Mediterranean, jungle, or Sahara the unreachable indicates an empty and hopeless life ahead.
United Nations Census tell us that people under 25 make up 43 percent of the world's population, and 60 percent of the population of developing countries. That is more than 3 Billion people and a lot of restless energy. Consider that among them are a few of the like of Mozart, Einstein and Galileo. Perhaps even a few Hitlers, Pol Pots, or Idi Amins. So wouldn't we want to encourage the former and control the latter.
Yet disparities abound in our world as inequalities are often caused by the very people who close their borders. Discriminations have sparked discontent into raging fires of revolution and chaos. With every revolt, more people are displaced, become refugees and homeless. The increase of such masses, closes more borders, fences are strengthen and walls are erected. People are made lost and desperate, adding to the instability.
Such conditions sicken men, women and children - mentally as well as physically. So to us (providers) they come for help. For us, such disparities create a dilemma to which we are strained to find an answer. For, with our Hippocratic oath, we have promised "… to abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free. …" Yet we too often find ourselves behind the same barriers.
The world's defense spending is about 1.7 Trillion Dollars. Just one percent of that could educate every child in the world. Our new technology can help us provide medical and educational help to everyone on both sides of the disparate and dispirited world. Fortunately Telehealth, Telemedicine, and Tele-education allows us to traverse rivers, walk through fences and climb over the walls of misfortune! We only need the courage to set aside our own prejudices and use it to help each other. Then maybe that half a mile won't seem so far after all.