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Martina Petkova
Student (The Hague , The Netherlands)

I am Martina Petkova, originally from Bulgaria (Sofia) 20 years old, studying in The Hague University (The Hague, NL) - European Studies (bachelor). My interests and passions are - European Union, global issues, culture, history, art and intercultural communication. In the context of TH!NK 3, changing the whole world and influencing on people's beliefs is unrealistic for me. Therefore, I think that starting this particular change, first of all from my own environment and society will make difference and will lead to a certain degree of change.


Diachronic Leapfrog

Published 30th March 2010 - 4 comments - 2545 views -

Back in the old days, when we were kids, everyone used to play leapfrog. Do you remember? This was a childish game, the purpose of which was to jump over each other’s backs. It was against the rules for any player making a back to throw up his back or bend it lower while a player was leaping over it. Leapfrog was an embodiment of trust, fairness, help, co-operation, partnership and action, when played by the rules.

Now in the 21st century I see ourselves playing the same game. Let me put the things that way – we play it now on the global stage. The main participants are the developed countries (Europe and Western world). The others who cannot participate (observers) , but trying to are still the developing continents (Africa, Asia etc.). Now, while facing big issues such as hunger, misery, poverty, health, education, water, discrimination in the developing world things are getting changed. It is not about us anymore, it is about million other people.

There are however more problems involved. Some of the "old" players are already experienced and disinterested; others cannot lose easily or just simply cannot afford to participate. The paradox is that we - the normal citizens who must initiate this game and invite and accept more players are apparently apathetic. Nevertheless, through these actions we are hindering the process of development as a whole, isolating ourselves in our worlds, only playing with each other. Other problem is however that we do not really know how to play the game, when and where to stop. We just play chaotically undisturbed, while the others are suffering from the consequences, not having the chance to join us.

All I am trying to express through this post is the following -  if we have common rules, patient with the others, we can manage easily, as a team the problems involved in it. To put it in nutshell - if we cooperate and learn from each other, leading dialogues we can achieve a lot. Or at least two of the pending UN Millennium Goals - Global Partnership and Universal Education.

The game ends when you get tired, run out of space or time or fall over...

Category: Education | Tags:


  • Lara Smallman on 30th March 2010:

    Great analogy - I think the key is trust and mutual respect. With those, a lot can be achieved

  • yanna on 31st March 2010:

    When we talk about partnership we think about trust. The side that gives must trust the side that received , and vice versa.The process of giving and receiving is mutual enriching.Not only the receiver is enrihced but the giver is also happy - he may receive nonvisible things like energy ,forgotten emotions ,smile ,beleives…But both of them must be trustfull.B-ulding the trust is a long process. See the example of literature :The Little Prince of Exupery who tamed the fox spend a lot of time to do this - he seated nerer and nearer toher and gradually and patintly tamed her. and                                 =“allowFullScreen” value=“true”><embed src=“” type=“application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=“true” allowScriptAccess=“always” width=“425” height=“344”></object>y tamed her!

  • Spas on 31st March 2010:

    There are, as you say, certain rules that have to be abided, but nevertheless in the modern world, where different social and cultural, and religious differences are present, it is really hard to gain trust in each other. That is why, in my opinion, we have to be careful and sure in our final decision before giving one of the most valuable gifts humans know - trust.

  • Martina Petkova on 31st March 2010:

    Thank you for the comments! Your opinions provoke interesting conclusions inside me. I’ll express them later on with another post!

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