Yeah, I know; this video came out last year. But, I just saw it for first time last week.
It’s very funny in a way that requires someone like me to be able to laugh at himself. My life as a professional international development practitioner has actually been lived somewhere between “this is what you’re NOT going to do” and “this is what you ARE going to do”. Part job, part cliché, part ‘woah, that’s awesome!’ There’s a small part of me that wants to be all navel-gazing and self-effacing, (oh, am I just living out some fantasy as another white savior wannabe exoticizing the poor and blah blah blah?) but the truth is, I’m sort of over it.
This video: funny.
Update: Oct 30
So, as I was chuckling to myself about this video again today, I had a serious thought. It reminds me of a discussion floating around the blogosphere a couple years back about aid elitism. I made my contribution to that discussion with the post “A Moderate Elitist” in which I stated,
I think a case for competence can and should be made, but I don’t see the value in embracing elitism. Every aid professional started somewhere and I bet most of us made mistakes that would make us cringe today. But, what if instead of being mentored into professionals and allowed to learn from our mistakes, some aid elitist had bashed us upside the head and told us we should take our good intentions elsewhere and leave development and aid to the pros? What we should be doing is encouraging competence with a healthy measure of grace and humility.