BLIND SPOT: A Lesson in Geography

February 1, 2018

 

“The public is shockingly unaware of the world, and educators and civic leaders need to confront this problem.” -Sanford J. Ungar

Great Britain and the United Kingdom are not the same.  “The United Kingdom is a country that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Great Britain is only a part of that, specifically the island that consists of England, Scotland, and Wales.”  Holland is not a country.  “The Netherlands has 12 provinces, including North-Holland and South-Holland.”  Africa is not a country.  “Africa is a continent containing an astonishing 54 countries, each with its own languages, cultures, and traditions.” (https://www.rd.com)

Geography shows the location of places and their physical and cultural characteristics in order to function more effectively in our increasingly interdependent world.  Given how global our modern marketplace is, it’s important to have an understanding of where countries and cultures are located relative to one another.”  Geography gives an understanding of the characteristics of past times and how it has played important roles in the evolution of people, their ideas, places and environments.  Geographical knowledge intersects with other subjects such as Biology and History and can help to gain a better understanding of the ‘big picture’ in these topics.”  “Studying Geography gives us a good idea of why towns and cities were established in certain locations and why some have flourished more than others.”  Geography enables us “to make sensible judgments about matters involving relationships between the physical environment and society.” An understanding of Geography lets us know which locations aren’t ideal for development as well as how best to develop “or expand cities and towns.”  Geography leads to an understanding of global interdependence.  Which in turn gives a better understanding of people  and a knowledge of the limitations of the Earth, both of which work toward making the planet more livable” (www.jacaranda.com)

Geographical illiteracy causes easy and frequent bewilderment of social phenomena including crises, conflicts, pandemic outbreaks and natural catastrophe, which lends  to difficulty for policy makers to formulate positions that influence outcomes of these problems.  “Continued ignorance of, or indifference toward, how other people see the world is a concrete threat to a people’s security and safety.” (https://www.insidehighered.com)

“Ginagamit po ng ilang mga tao ang isyu na ‘to, itong isyu sa award, para pagtakpan ‘yung isyu ng Dengvaxia, isyu ng

pagtanggap diumano ni Senator Drilon ng pera kay Napoles, at ang pinakamahalaga pa, ‘yang nangyayari sa Naga, ‘yang pag-aalburuto ng  Mayon Volcano,” Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson said in her video blog.”( cnnphilippines.com)

This display of lack of geographical awareness of the local setting  reveals an inability  to function effectively in an interdependent Filipino society.  How could public servants deliver authentically appropriate services to Filipinos when they do not have an accurate understanding of locations, and consequently the people and their necessities?   A possible consequence would be erroneous or improper delivery of benefits for the people, which would waste effort and resources.    Familiarity of natural features provides leaders with information of its background and development and potential measures for expansion.  Without acquaintance with the local milieu, how then can the state advance towards progress?  Inversely, in the proliferation of such unfamiliarity, advancement may be hindered, or pushed back down.  Awareness on topography explains reasons for differences in prosperity among communities; thereby utilizing models for promotion of equitability.  Awareness of territorial features helps in making ri
ght decisions in government functions that strike balance between people and place; elevating both economy and environment.  Mastery of meadow and mountain moves men to make the most of means to maximize the momentum of the merchandise. Geography shows the optimum location for investment and well-being.  Ignorance of a territory’s physical features restrain the leaders from delivering effective solutions to problems, and indirectly threatening a society’s safety and security, because after all, this negligence is a danger right under their noses.

Now, a government official has exposed incompetence in serving the people with recognition of the potential of the region and its resources, to press it towards progress;  instead carelessly spewing shameful smudge of ignorance.  How has this disgrace been given deference?  Besides, how could news of a natural disaster be overshadowed by a controversial award?  No. It simply cannot.  It would cover any manifestation of insignificance with smoke and fire.  Furthermore, the elements in the questionable statement violates parallelism.  The first previous items refer to accusations of malpractice, then the set ends with the recent rampage of Mayon Volcano.  Any kindergarten pupil would spot the difference if the elements were represented in images.  The Communications Secretary has exhibited lack of awareness in recognition of a region’s resources and raising it towards development.  Or am I just over-analyzing?

Or maybe we’re just misinterpreting the poor secretary.  Maybe she’s really referring to Mayon Avenue and not Mayon Volcano.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge…”

Hosea 4:6


 

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload