Name: Sokona Christelle Kone
Country: Cote d’Ivoire
Occupation: Volunteer educator in Cote d’Ivoire
Please describe your vision of a world that works for everyone.
If no one thought of himself/herself as better than the next person, irrespective of color, creed, sex, belief, weight, health, social status, literacy level or lack thereof, to state just a few, then the world would work for us all. At the end of the day, regardless of what we wear or do not wear, what we eat or do not eat, what we find offensive or tolerable, what we like or dislike, we all hurt, laugh, cry, and we are all promised a sure end. From the most powerful person on earth to one dying alone in a slum, when we are sick, we need others; when we are depressed we need others; and when we die, we need others to properly handle our body. In fact, we need others to share our joy as well, whether we let them partake in the festivity or treat them with arrogance and/or disdain; we have an innate need for others. We need each other, it is that simple, and we need to understand that, for the most part, deep down, we are the same. If we are able to truly internalize that fact, this world will work for us all.
What do you see as the most pressing problems facing the world today?
The lack of quality, affordable, and ethical education is perhaps the biggest challenge facing us. Yes, there are other seemingly more flaring ones such as diseases, hunger, poverty, war and many other regrettable conditions. Yet, many wrongs could have been avoided if people had a sound and ethical education. Not knowing how to read and write is today almost analogous to an assured failed life. Also, it is important to understand that many of the other aforementioned problems are tied to education in some instances. The world is rapidly evolving and without a sound education, many will surely be relegated to a life of poverty and despair, and run the risk of being taken advantaged of by unethically educated individuals, corporations and/or governments.
How do you feel these problems could best be solved?
By providing access to a sound and ethical education to all, we will be solving many of the problems facing the world. Ethics in education is a necessity; in fact, in many places, it is the intellectuals that are at the source of numerous problems. If morals and ethics were consistently part of school curricula at all levels, students, from an early age, would be challenged to question certain practice. Moreover, their developed sense of critical thinking (from a sound education) would allow them to differentiate between subjective and objective statements/beliefs… Of course, education cannot be given in a vacuum and some of the other problems, including lack of security, food, housing and proper healthcare must be addressed for the education to even be possible; yet, it must be the focal point if we are to live in a better world.
A profile of myself is a daunting task I must say. I would rather answer questions, as it is often difficult to analyze the person in the mirror. Yet, I will try hoping that any failure or shortcoming is forgiven in light of the attempt.
I take comfort in learning and I enjoy stimulating discussions. I ache at seeing others hurt regardless of where they may be, but I must confess that time and time again, I cowardly convince myself that I cannot do much, knowing deep inside I could do a little bit more each day. I love spending time with friends, family, and open-minded nonjudgmental individuals.
When it comes to books, I have read many interesting ones but I am not sure I could pick a favorite one from the top of my mind; however, Une si longue lettre (So long a letter) by Mariama Ba ranks high up there with the best of them.
My goal in life is to be happy and, in the process, hopefully help others be happy as well. I do believe that we have a tendency to undervalue what we have and I try my best to control that predisposition in my life. Yet, I find that I am most happy when I help make others happy.
I am a staunch proponent of providing access to a sound and ethical education to all, and I hope that by the sunset of my life, I will have helped just a tad bit in that endeavor.
I love traveling and I look forward to the opportunity of one day travelling all over the globe and having the privilege of experiencing the beautiful cultures we are lucky to have on earth. I enjoy eating “quality” food and I take pleasure in learning how to cook new dishes or creating my own.
I have a burning desire to study for a Ph.D. in the social sciences or the field of education, but with the rising cost of higher education in spite of the global economic crisis, that dream has been, hopefully only temporarily, ranged away in a drawer. I am hoping that with the increase in online certificates and diplomas, a school might soon decide to provide that opportunity free of charge online or at least at a reasonable cost.
I like learning about new gadgets, watching NBA, soccer and tennis matches, and being online. As a generation, we have at our fingertips a load of information and opportunities simply because of the World Wide Web. It is experiencing astonishing improvements each second and it never ceases to amaze me. As with most things in life, it also comes with its own challenges. Yet, having access to it is critical and I cannot imagine myself without it anymore. As I often say, I can let go of the television screen and any stereo equipment; all I need is a computer and access to the Internet.
In summary, I am easygoing, a dreamer at times, yet one that seeks stability and avoids unnecessary risks. I like being home, putting a smile on people’s face, eating, enjoying tea and all of that around an engaging game of scrabble or other word games.
As A Man Thinketh
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement
How to win Friends and Influence People
Success through a Positive Mental Attitude