August is an interesting month. The weather is always a topic. So are the bugs in the backyard. (Cicadas, anyone?) Some people are going on vacation or returning from one in August. Others are emptying their pockets to buy school supplies and clothing. Fall tuitions are due. Work goals don’t go away in August. They loom large. Signs that autumn is just around the corner are everywhere. So is the inevitable end of summer-Labor Day. It’s off the radar until late August. We don’t want this month to start or end. We are busy.
I’m taking this month to read news items that aren’t directly related to my work. There’s a particular curiosity to learn what the rest of the world is up to and how it might affect you and my local students.
Here’s a glimpse of the topics that you might find of interest to follow as I am:
It’s a compelling story of how Ukraine will export wheat to the rest of the world that depends on that wheat for sustenance! It’s a story laden with a high drama factor. If you like real-life drama, this is one to follow. Successful transmission of the wheat crop is key to whether millions of people live or starve. I’m interested to see how affected countries manage the delivery, if and when it arrives safely and untainted.
China has articulated its desire to be the dominant world power on the planet. I am observing stories of their military, where they are located, what they say their country is doing, and what they are actually doing. If you like to learn more about geography or geopolitics, this one is for you.
A few weeks ago, I heard that Mexico received a large number of USA work visas. This translates to money being sent back to Mexico. But then, I also heard there was “some attitude” toward the United States in the form of mocking. Those who like human interest stories with the hero and villain factor may find appeal in following the money.
Rwanda and the Congo
My favorite 19-year-old talked to me about his concern over the Congolese not being more wealthy despite the number of their natural resources. That led me to learn more about what is happening in that part of the world, where mining for minerals that make chips and batteries work is at risk. Specialty items that can only be found in some regions of the world intrigue me. I always wonder if such resources can’t be found elsewhere or duplicated with reasonable facsimiles and where American ingenuity might come into play. If you’re into market competitiveness, third-world geography, or even “why we can’t all get along,” check this story out.
Don’t look at just one source. I dig to find details based on facts, not feelings toward a particular country. I want to know the truth of what is going on. Many times, it takes weeks or months to follow a story. Why does what the rest of the world is doing matter? Why do I care? Because it affects how I vote. When I see how world leaders operate, I also see the desperate need for strength combined with humility, that is, power under control. Human nature takes advantage of situations. I see from the above stories that the world takes advantage of weakness but respects power under control.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸