The great divide - GulfToday

The great divide

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Richard Branson

Perhaps Richard Branson has his share of CSR activities, but then, the wishful thinking is that the pioneer status could be used for medical advancements, for innovation where drought and famine make people go hungry and die a death of suffering (“Cracker of a pioneer: Richard Branson all set to explore Virgin territory in space,” July 9, Gulf Today).

We seem to be living on two planets in one. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde if you must. One planet where the inhabitants are dying for lack of clean water and medical aid. And the other where a handful of billionaires compete to make a journey to space at the cost of billions of dollars.

Sure, they have rightfully earned this right. They have rightfully (or not) made the money to attempt this, because, well, they had the brains and the opportune time to use their brains. And why not? Go to space 10 times if you must, but also make the world a better place while you are at it.

The copious amount of money spent for these seemingly whimsical activities in the face of a person for whom a dollar will buy the meal for that day, seem, well, heartbreaking.

But then, we are that species. We are that greedy species to whom the inequality matters little, as long as we are on the pleasant side of that inequality. Sure, Richard Branson and the likes cannot save the world (or can they?). But they have enough power and money to make a difference that will ripple across decades, if they will.

Joyce D
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