Raam, this is why I love to comment on your blog. You seriously think about these things, and you take time to think give a thoughtful response to every comment!
I did visit Senegal a couple of times afterwards (last visit was Christmas 1999 – New Year 2000) but it’s been so long that I can’t quite get back the feeling as I experienced it at the time. As far as I remember, it started to happen quite fast. If you let the speed of things in the western world get a hold of you, it widens the gap really fast.
I love it how you see the urgency that “every day feels like one more day I didn’t do more to help.” We have so many opportunities to create change, yet we spend our time tinkering and trying to figure out the “best way.” Time flies so quick… and we end up doing nothing?
With the opportunities and great benefits we enjoy comes great responsibility. Sure, the solution won’t be to bring everyone to our level of consumption. But to be fair, that should never be used as an excuse to not help. It should instead be a call for us to lower our own consumption and giving up something in order to make sure others have enough too. A world filled with minimalists could be a great goal 😉
I like Bono’s way of thinking where helping the poor is not about charity but justice: We need to work hard to make sure those in the poorer parts of the world are treated right and given a chance to change the world they live in.
Entrepreneurship in the third world could be a huge opportunity. Education is another. I wonder if there could be something there that we could help in?