What is development?

A loaded question, floating around in my mind, shifting, tumbling, re-surfacing, disappearing, and confounding me in different moments of the day. As a young guy of Swiss background with an American higher education, it was great to step out into the world and desiring to help make changes in places that had great need. My motivation to do so seemed pure, and with my understanding at the time, I did my best. However, the longer I reflect on issues surrounding development, foreign assistance, dependency, dignity, partnership, mission, individualism v community, the more I see the complexity of life in a global world. At times, the sheer arrogance of my cultural background is overwhelming, and at other times, the great achievements and benefits of that same background seem amazing to me. The question for me remains: What is development?

If any of you would like to share your thoughts, I would love to hear from you!


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