Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Development Set

by Ross Coggins

It is 33 years old, yet, still true to today. I saw that in my former boss's office years ago, and, again today in the class of "Poverty, Economic Development, and Health" and very much would like to share it with you all.

"Adult Education and Development" September 1976

Excuse me, friends, I must catch my jet
I'm off to join the Development Set;
My bags are packed, and I've had all my shots
I have traveller's checks and pills for the trots!

The Development Set is bright and noble
Our thoughts are deep and our vision global;
Although we move with the better classes
Our thoughts are always with the masses.

In Sheraton Hotels in scattered nations
We damn multi-national corporations;
injustice seems easy to protest
In such seething hotbeds of social rest.

We discuss malnutrition over steaks
And plan hunger talks during coffee breaks.
Whether Asian floods or African drought,
We face each issue with open mouth.

We bring in consultants whose circumlocution
Raises difficulties for every solution --
Thus guaranteeing continued good eating
By showing the need for another meeting.

The language of the Development Set
Stretches the English alphabet;
We use swell words like "epigenetic"
"Micro", "macro", and "logarithmetic"

It pleasures us to be esoteric --
It's so intellectually atmospheric!
And although establishments may be unmoved,
Our vocabularies are much improved.

When the talk gets deep and you're feeling numb,
You can keep your shame to a minimum:
To show that you, too, are intelligent
Smugly ask, "Is it really development?"

Or say, "That's fine in practice, but don't you see:
It doesn't work out in theory!"
A few may find this incomprehensible,
But most will admire you as deep and sensible.

Development set homes are extremely chic,
Full of carvings, curios, and draped with batik.
Eye-level photographs subtly assure
That your host is at home with the great and the poor.

Enough of these verses - on with the mission!
Our task is as broad as the human condition!
Just pray god the biblical promise is true:
The poor ye shall always have with you.

Original source: http://www.geocities.com/shores_system/development_set.html


tune said...
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tune said...
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tune said...
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ေရႊဂ်မ္း said...

Thanks for sharing. I'll definitely share this with my aunt and a few others.

Nwe said...

What a great poem! I like the beautiful play of words hitting the nail on the head.
May be these guys should be next to million-pound bonus reaping bankers, who need a review of what they treat themselves with.
Personally, I don't see any problem in professionals getting rewarded for what their work's worth. However, it should not be to the extent that rewards almost become a threat to your conscience.
Having said that, some people have endless egos that blind them from differentiating what's reasonable and what's not.
Maybe I am just jealous and confused :D :D :D