As I have planned my travels I have met many people that do not know where the countries are that I am traveling to. Upon returning from my Panama trip some said they thought I had been in Florida. And just the other day someone when someone saw a hat from Bonaire they stated “I wonder what kind of company that is?” Having traveled to one fourth of the 196 countries recognized by the United Nations I like to think I am fairly knowledgeable in geography. Geography you know the study of the physical earth, its land masses, climates, people, religions and cultures. Unfortunately it seems most people only learn of a country’s location if they have a disaster, a tsunami in Thailand, an earthquake in Haiti, an earthquake and tsunami in Japan or a mining disaster in Chile. Thankfully Chile had a much better ending than most disasters.
With the lack of world maps and globes it is evident that geography is no longer considered an important subject in our United States education system. Yet it is a worldwide economy in which we live. No one country can stand alone in these trying economic times. But most people do not know where the countries that we depend on for our food and oil are located.
The 2012 Olympic Games just ended and many people that I spoke with had never heard of almost a third of the countries that marched in the Parade of Countries or participated in the events. They certainly did not know where they were located.
I truly believe we need to start teaching geography again in our U.S. schools. If people understand the country they may begin to understand more about its people.
I appeal to parents and educators to begin this process re-introduce the world to the leaders of tomorrow.
And by the way...Happy Labor Day, to those enjoying the day off and to those service professions that are laboring at work.