Editorial: The Possible Dreams
by Kevin Sims
The Possible Dreams
EVERYONE sets themselves goals, though sometimes they can be more like dreams. For instance, when I was at school I wanted to be the youngest person to play in the soccer World Cup. (This ‘goal’ also included scoring a last-minute winner in the final!) Did I ever truly believe I would do it? Probably not. For starters, while I was OK at sport I was never good enough to play soccer professionally – but there was always part of me that thought it might just be possible.
As I grew up my goals changed. Becoming a good dad, owning a house, bettering myself at work all became things I strived for – though I still hold out some hope of being the oldest World Cup finalist ...!
At first glance, some of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) seem as unlikely to be achieved as my sporting ambitions. Yet by unanimously agreeing to the MDGs, the 189 member states of the United Nations have signed up to say, together, ‘These goals can – and must – be achieved.’ They’re not pie-in-the-sky, wishful-thinking, ‘wouldn’t-it-be-good-if ...?’ pipedreams. These aims can be achieved by hard work, cooperation and through countries which have great resources sharing with those which have few.But what has this got to do with The Salvation Army? The Army isn’t a member of the UN so it hasn’t signed up to the MDGs. Yet The Salvation Army recognises that the Millennium Development Goals reflect some of what it, as a movement, has been striving towards for much of its 140-year existence.
The motivation behind the Army’s work is different to that of the United Nations but the end product can be the same, as is seen throughout this issue of All the World. If people are being lifted out of poverty, receiving an education, being treated for HIV/Aids and having their lives improved drastically then it makes little difference to them whether that’s happening because of a United Nations agreement or because The Salvation Army wants to show the practical differences that can come about through acting out the Christian faith.
The bottom line is that the UN and The Salvation Army are both saying the same thing: people matter. In 2015, the target date for the Millennium Development Goals, statistics will show whether they were achieved or not.
As we approach the halfway stage in reaching those goals no one can say how many will be achieved but one thing is certain – there will always be people in need who The Salvation Army will aim to reach with practical help and the message of God’s love.
Kevin Sims is the editor of All the World