Lessons from the tough neighborhoods of Rio and Johannesburg also have meaning for the United States. One of the consequences of the severe budget cuts the GOP envisions under the Ryan plan is a growing disconnect between communities and government.
She was an individualist and an atheist. Notice what I am NOT saying: I am not saying that an atheist is necessarily an individualist. In truth I am aware of more atheists who are collectivists than individualists.
I am, quite frankly, concerned by Romney and other advocates of neoliberalist principles because they are based on individualistic, self-centered "freedoms," while opposing general responsibility for others and for a collective cooperative society.
China will not easily capture hearts and minds. They will be an economic superpower only. The Chinese are ethnocentric and in large ways and small, an instinct to narrowly defend interests can be off putting.
While we are indeed currently politically divided and somewhat polarized, this is actually our normal state as a nation -- and on the polarization scale, we're nowhere near the "most divided" we've ever been. Far from it.
As parents we all need to remember that we are our children's most important source, and the greatest gift we can give them is the permission to have their own opinion backed up by good debate, and of course by asking good questions.