Starting in May 2007, Eve Ensler canvassed the best brains around the globe for their world-fixing ideas. "We have two roads to choose from," she said. "The one we are on is leading to escalating poverty and starvation, war, ethnic strife, 'disaster capitalism,' insane violence against women, the plunder of the biosphere. The other road requires change—redistributing resources, honoring the earth and women's bodies, ending racism, poverty, illiteracy, and war."
Extraordinary people—columnist Katha Pollitt, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights Michael Ratner, actress and activist Jane Fonda and author Jeremy Scahill—suggested ways to bring about this transformation that were featured in Ensler's O column, "A Million Ways to Save the World." We also asked you to provide ideas, and thousands poured in, including these earthshaking suggestions, now exclusively on Oprah.com.
Give Big by Sizing Down
My husband and I own a deli, and we provide food for more than 30 kids each week. But we know we have to do more. My mother lives next door to us, and she and I are willing to sell our houses—we're willing to downsize—so that we can help those around us. There are kids that live in trailers. They have no food, and in the winter, their homes have no insulation. This winter, they were freezing. Our equity is in our homes, so if we sell them, we could have so much more to give to them.
— Michele Giarratano, 39
Speak the Same Language
I believe we need language to get to the truth, understanding, and eventual peace. If everyone, especially Americans, were more strongly encouraged to learn another language, we'd all benefit. Many times we can't even speak to people we want so badly to get along with. By learning just one new language, each person would see where she fits into the world more clearly and be able to consider other people's perspectives.
— Martine Lamartiniere, 33