Friday, January 15, 2010

Peace Activist of the Week- Dr. Norman Borlaug

So I'm sure many of you are looking at the title and thinking. Who? Dr. Norma Borlaug. When I first heard his named mentioned, I admit I had no idea who he was either. This little known agronomist was the recipant of the Nobel Peace Prize. So how does a man who works with plants save the world? I'm happy to explain.

Dr. Norman Borlaug (1914-2009) grew up on a farm in the mid-west. His interest in the environment took root during the Great Depression where he witnessed the atrocities of starvation. During World War II, he and several others were contracted by the Mexican government to study wheat. Borlaug developed a wheat that was more resistant to diseases and was smaller in the size of stalk. Because of the small size of stalk, the wheat was more hardy and resistant to wind erosion. After this enormous break-through, Borlaug saw the potential to elevate hunger. Thus the Green Revolution was born, Borlaug introduced his wheat to counties like India and parts of Africa. Thus he helped end the India-Pakistan food shortage of the 1960s. He also taught poor farmers how to sustain their crops. He ended up saving billions of lives by making it easier for poor countries to sustain higher yields of wheat and feed their hungry. Last year, Borlaug died at his home in Dallas from lymphoma.

Because Norman Borlaug was a talented man who could have used his talents for personal gain but didn't, because he saw that people were starving and did as Jesus calls us to do- feed the poor, because he did not have to resort to violence to elevate human suffering, I commend Dr. Borlaug and make him my peace activist of the week.

Dr. Borlaug shows us that no matter what our talents/gifts are they can be used for the good of all man kind. You don't have to be a politician to change the world. You can do it with your own talents/gifts in your own little way. Just as St. Terese told us that we could.

1 comment:

  1. :-) Great post... I like stories like this about normal people who find ways to help.


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