Today, President Bush honored a 92-year old with a Congressional Gold Medal.
No, the purpose of this blog isn’t to highlight ABC News coverage of President Bush, or even the sanctity of the Gold Medal, but the man who deserved this distinctive recognition.
Norman Borlaug, a scientist, is credited with saving a billion people from famine. That’s right, billion with a ‘B’. A million millions owe their life to this one man.
Why? Because he taught the world to farm.
He launched his revolutionary crop-growing techniques in Mexico when many, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands were starving. He developed a sturdy, shorter form of wheat that withstood harsher conditions and devastation from pests. But he didn’t stop; he kept pushing forward and developed new types of seeds and fertilizer for 3rd world countries.
In 1970, Norman Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his extraordinary achievements; his efforts termed The Green Revolution.
At 92, he claims to still have work to finish, people to teach to farm, new techniques to develop.
During the presentation, he stood at the Presidential podium, almost ram-rod straight, shoulders only slightly stooped with nine decades of age, white air gleaming in the brilliance of camera lights. Not seemingly awed by the influential audience or the political power-brokers in attendance, he briefly glanced at the Congressional Gold Medal, as though the award held little merit. I suppose when you’ve saved a Billion from starving, there is no reward larger than the accomplishment itself.
Norman Borlaug is a man I would love to trail behind, listening to his casual statements and throw-away words, knowing that what he considered nothing more than common conversation would very likely be the wisest thing I might ever hear. I am enthralled to know how his mind sees a problem on the magnitude of world-wide starvation then breaks it down into manageable and accomplishable bits. Yep, of all those folks taking up space on our planet, Norman would be top on my list to meet.
Who would you most like to meet? Why?