“The Most Important Thing, and It’s Almost a Secret” – Barry’s Gleanings

It’s easy to be disheartened by all the bad news: gun murders in the U.S., ambushes in Israel, Syrian refugees, sunken cargo ships . . .   However, read this New York Times article:  It is good news about the world from journalist Nicholas Kristof:


Children at school in Ghana

Children at school in Ghana

Image from: https://hivos.org/activity/stop-child-labour-campaignomars-dream

The Right to Education mandates free and compulsory education for children 6-14 in India

Since April 1, 2010, The Right to Education (RTE) law has mandated free  education for children 6-14 in India

Image from: http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1985026,00.html

Of course, just because the government makes a law, it is not always followed.  But things, for the most part, are better in the world for most people.

Indian school girls - the government mandates they must have education

Indian school girls – the government mandates they must have education


Of course, we can do much better.  Check out Nicholas Kristof’s article.  You’re likely to learn new facts.

Aloha, Barry (and Renée)


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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

3 responses to ““The Most Important Thing, and It’s Almost a Secret” – Barry’s Gleanings”

  1. Rosita says :

    It’s a sad situation 😦 poverty, misery, diseases outbreaks, natural catastrophes, all it is interconnected. You can see, these things occurs with a more impacting, maybe shocking, speed and frequency in our world, but if people would be less concerned about gaining fame and money and more concerned about those poor people who’re suffering in any third world country, our world would be a much more better place. I made a poem about it, I know
    that’s simple, but what do you think? 🙂

    If the world would be a better place
    We can talk that we live and love
    In the garden of Eden
    But we live on the hell
    As now for as well

    I’m tired of that third world sham
    It all reflects and generalizes that suffering
    If people would be less concerned about gaining fame and glam
    It’s not about covering
    It’s a heartbreaking situation
    But we can change it if we want

    It’s only a question of glam and sham
    If you’re fascinated with those lotus flowers here on Amazonia
    If you’re fascinated with beaches in Tahiti
    Don’t forget of misery in Haiti
    Don’t forget of starving children in Ethiopia
    Even if you’re living an utopia

    What do you think about my poem? It’s about misery and poverty and the view of some rich persons about it, who forget that this reality exists, even under an idyllic facade of some countries.

  2. reneeriley says :

    Hi Rosita: Thanks for your poem. It’s a good reminder for all of us. Although many things have improved, many people are still living in poverty and suffering. Because many of us don’t see starving children and other miseries, it’s easy to forget. We all must do what we can to make the world a caring, loving place – for everyone. Aloha, Renee

  3. Rosita says :

    Terima Kasih! I think that you’re correct, because we’re accustomed to see poverty, but NOT extreme misery, as it occurs in Haiti and Ethiopia, but I think that exists a lot of other countries who enfrents this situation. How sad! 😦 but I think that misery exist to make us know that we’re at dreadful and nasty Planet Earth rather than in Paradise, for us take care better of our own planet, and if a rich person see a miserable one, can neglect and don’t help it, who’s sad, so, I think that a rich person have to help a miserable one, because I believe in karma, and it’s one of the many forms of make the world a better place for all us 🙂 I suffered a lot recently, so, I believe that tomorrow can be a better day and I never lost my hope that one day we can live in an Earthly Paradise, so, I putted under the music “Imagine”, of John Lennon:


    Imagine there’s no heaven It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace

    You may say,
    I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A Brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world

    You may say,
    I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

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