The Dream Project

(Reposted from www.somercooper.com)

Value and money. Ain’t it all about perspective.

I’ll give two examples about understanding value and money:

1) My Vietnamese scarf and 2) A quote from Nicholas Kristof, “Humanitarians have tended to guilt-trip people and governments into generosity by peddling emaciated children with flies on their eyes.”

That being said,

1) My Vietnamese scarf

I worked in Vietnam two years ago. Upon leaving, I decided to purchase scarves for my dearest friends. There was one scarf in particular that I purchased for myself. It now serves as a runner at the foot of my Queen-sized bed. Made of silk, beaded and fringed with two peacocks in the center. Because I bought something like 30 scarves, I talked the Vietnamese lady in the silk market down to $6 a scarf. My gorgeous bed runner was purchased for $6.

In full transparency, I had guilt about that transaction. Guilt because I was in a developing nation haggling a local down on her price for scarves. I had been advised by my Vietnamese colleagues to negotiate. So I did. With guilt. I purchased the scarves.

$6.

I love the scarf on my bed.

Cut to a few months ago, I’m shopping at a swanky, local boutique in Raleigh, NC. I spotted the exact scarf that serves as my bed runner. Silk, fringe, beaded, two peacocks, same colors.

The price tag read $275.

Perspective is everything. So is value. Someone in Raleigh, NC is willing to pay $275 for the same scarf that I paid $6 for in Vietnam.

I wonder if they have the same guilt upon purchasing that I did?

2) ”Humanitarians have tended to guilt-trip people and governments into generosity by peddling emaciated children with flies on their eyes.”

Nicholas Kristof said it best this week in a NY Times article about The Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

The Millenium Development Goals (MDG) were established to eradicate world poverty by2015 by addressing 8 key factors. I learned about the MDG on a project I volunteered for in LA, The Dream Project UN.

Read on by clicking here...

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