One of the biggest problems in any discussion of the third world is the myths believed by the average people in condominiums in Toronto or homes in Dawson Creek. The myths range from ones of mild ignorance to the extremely racist. Let's take a look at some of the most prevalent.
All third world countries are the same, in terms of wealth. The ridiculousness of this myth is made obvious when one switches "third world" with developed world. No countries within any categorization have even close to the same amount of wealth. What is generally true about third world countries is that they have less wealth than other countries, but there is a wide disparity between the wealth of the different nations. Just like you'll see different economic brackets living in London Ontario real estate there is a huge variety of living conditions throughout the Eastern world.
All people are poor in third world countries. Again, this myth needs to be done away with. Even in the poorest countries, there are wealthy citizens. Sometimes, these citizens are working to better the conditions of their country, and sometimes they are exploiting it. Again, this is no different than in any developed country, with some looking to buy a Toronto condo and some begging for food outside.
Third world citizens are lazy. This is a myth that is seeing more and more support, particularly over the last five years. Again, it has more to do with the human condition than any particular country. On average, a third world resident probably works quite a bit harder than someone in the industrial world. Someone building sheaves in Canada only works 40 hours for their fair wage, while a person making women's pants in the third world may work nearly 80.
Third world countries are major culprits in environmental degradation. This is a hugely arrogant claim made by some citizens of industrialized countries, and it is hypocritical to boot. While it is true that many third world countries contribute to problems such as deforestation and desertification more than industrialized ones, it is the industrialized countries that are responsible for major environmental problems with far reaching consequences. This includes the depletion of the ozone layer and global warming, due to the way we live our lives. The truth is, everything from cable cutters like the one here to the food used at Toronto event catering probably had some effect on the environment and no one can simply blame it on someone else.
What is not a myth about third world countries is that they need the help of more fortunate countries in order to better their circumstances. In most cases, the impoverished third world has become that way due to the exploitation of the other countries on the earth. Each citizen in developed countries should be concerned with making redress for mistakes our countries have made in the past.