Thought for Today

7/21/2011 ( 22nd in Asia)


“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” — Kurt Vonnegut


Working in rural developing parts of the world means being closed off to what most people in industrialized nations, and in urban areas take for granted—– the television.


Most of my life I have lived without it. Until most recently this was a luxury only enjoyed on home leave and holiday. In past years, when I would travel to family and friends they would always find me early in the morning watching the morning news programs and religiously at 4pm watching OPRAH.


Today the world has changed—- it’s an easier place not so distant from ones homeland. Whether in the rural village or in the city I can normally go online and read and watch videos of news and western (or eastern) pop culture.


In 2011 I regularly get a piece of America and the west. What I still don’t get is the option yet to watch OPRAH’s new OWN channel programs. That said, I do keep up with Oprah’s website blog. I love reading about what is going on in the USA. This place helps me retain a bit of my self— the American.


Today I opened up my day by visiting OWN. I read the Thought for Today. And, my reaction to the quote was the immediate thought——– the art of being an aid worker is PANTOMIME.


Images flashed in my minds eye of aid workers I know and love, and those I have seen and not known all practicing this art of communicating when no verbal language existed between parties.


Every successful aid worker at one time or another is in a situation without the skill to communicate in the language of the village, of the person or group in need.  His or her ability to communicate what needs to be said or done is through the dramatic art of pantomiming.  It’s the aid workers body and the spirit in the aid workers eye that communicates reason.  This is special. It is the humanitarian art and whether done well or poorly doesn’t matter, it matters that this art is created. And, that it fills the soul of not only the aid worker but of the villager or person in need.


I have learned that almost every child, of any culture, likes to play—— every one instinctively plays and pantomimes. It’s an art all humans know but sometimes as adults we are embarrassed to use this form of communication. To the aid worker, however, it’s the tool of the trade, the soulful way of talking without oral language,  the art of alleviating poverty—-




















  1. Cheers! Very helpful advice on this blog!

    • admin

      thank you. this gives me reinforcement to continue writing inspite of difficulties posting sometimes from the field.

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