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What would you change in the world?

For many of us, the pace in 2007 was frenzied. We multi-tasked, we negotiated and closed deals, we let go of some offers and moved on to others; for us in the talk business — we talked passionately as we listened intently. What a year it was! Today as I write this, I smile and sheepishly wish to be able to smell the flowers more often and bask over in a while in the glorious Boracay sand and sun.

We claim the gifts 2008 has to offer. However, life is mysteriously flawed. War and hunger are happening in many parts of the world, the long-time Darfur conflict in Sudan continues, terrorists lurk in dangerous corners around the world, economic and environmental crisis looms. 

This reminds me of Al Gore, the former Vice President of the US who is a recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and an active environmental activist. He organized last year a series of worldwide concerts called Live Earth together with Kevin Wall of Save Our Selves that initiated a three-year campaign to raise awareness about climate change. He travels around the globe and tirelessly lectures about the severity of global warming. Al Gore starred in the 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary film An Inconvenient Truth. In the slide show, Gore reviews the scientific opinion on climate change, discusses the politics and economics of global warming, and describes the consequences if the amount of human-generated greenhouse gases is not reduced in the near future. His book of the same title was published concurrently with the theatrical release of the documentary.

Filipino environmentalist Von Hernandez was named by Time Magazine as one of 2007’s “Heroes of the Environment” along with Al Gore, Mikhail Gorbachev, Prince Charles, among others. In 1999, the  Greenpeace campaign director was recognized for his relentless campaign against trading in waste and highly polluting waste incinerators which made the Philippines the first nation in the world to ban waste incineration.

There are also famous personalities like Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman who give their time, money, and fame to humanitarian crusades. Their star power has generated millions of dollars for AIDS victims, sick and hungry children, destruction of landmines, and protection of the oppressed. 

The world will become a better place to live in if we can give a part of ourselves to others and to the global community. I asked some celebrities if they have the power to change one thing in this world, what would it be. Here are their answers:

Erik Santos — If I have the power to change one thing, I will make every person in the world rich so everybody will be happy.

Rufa Mae Quinto — No more corruption. Peace and serenity for the country.

Tin-Tin Bersola-Babao — Erase all evils that destroy men like hopelessness, debt, greed, corruption, indifference (apathy) and inequality.

Bianca Gonzales — I will send all the less fortunate kids to school.

Keanna Reeves — Everybody wants to have peace on earth.

Calvin Millado — The power to eradicate poverty. It would be nice to see the margin become smaller.

Ina Feleo — Save the ozone layer.

Kim Flores — I will vanish hate and change it entirely with love. To be more positive and understanding of other people’s perspective.

Let us look forward to a brighter and more meaningful 2008 with hopes for peace and prosperity. We can make a brand new start by counting our blessings. Remember that happiness is a choice and we can live joyfully without allowing negative forces to win over our inner peace. Before long, the year will soon come to an end and you will be grateful that you did your share in making this world a better place.

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