Yesterday, in our interview with Ambassador Timothy Roemer, he talked about a variety of things but the three key points he made regarded religion, the universal value of caring for others, and education.
Ambassador Roemer said that the United States can learn from India because India has established a common ground between all religions. He said that for the most part each respective religion is able to exist peacefully and respectively together. For example, on October 2nd over 50 religions gather at Raj Ghat to celebrate Gandhi’s birthday. It is a time when each religion has the chance to collectively pray for peace.
Ambassador Roemer talked about how the United States can learn from India’s enthusiasm at the polls. India has a 75% voter turn out. Voter turn out in the United States is usually around 50% and sometimes even less. In India people often travel long distances just to vote. They vote for their individual voices and freedom; they appreciate and utilize their role in democracy.
Ambassador Roemer moved on to talk about the common universal values of dignity and respect. He said that everywhere he has travelled he has noticed that people never cease to care for others.
Lastly, Ambassador Roemer discussed the importance of service. He was inspired by our trip and said that by visiting India we would be exposed to new experiences and learn about the world in a different way. He believes in the power of education, saying “Without education we will slip behind other countries.” He emphasized that education will protect us and provide the United States with the tools we need to continuously be a world leader. Ambassador Roemer thinks that the United States needs to be more flexible and allow things to change in our education system. “We need to utilize all skills,” he said. He asserted that people learn in different ways, some by reading, some by writing, and some by seeing a movie. If we take advantage of all these methods, we will be more successful in the teaching of American youth.
Ambassador Roemer went on to say that if we don’t make education affordable for everyone in our nation, it is going to hurt our country. We need to make education affordable because it is our best investment and in our interest. This also means providing education to foreign students who, in the long term, benefit the U.S. by beginning companies in the U.S., providing jobs and spurring our economy. Additionally by these students educated in the American school system returning to their home country well educated and with a positive outlook on America. This, in turn, strikes a potential for this educated person to reach high tiers in society which makes for good relations with America.
Ambassador Roemer’s attitude was positive and straight forward. It was reassuring to hear him speak with confidence about what worked in his experiences. He didn’t focus much on what didn’t work which gave more time for an added depth in the conversation of what will work in the continued security of America and the expansion of these three important topics.