This is back to school days in Mongolia. An early morning walk will see the sidewalks filled with children heading back to classes. Youngsters with new shoes and fresh haircuts, and scared looks.
Teenagers showing off their expensive new tennis shoes while the girls huddle, giggle and watch the boys. Mothers trying to "let go" of their little darlings and trying not to cry when their children say they want to stay home with mommy.
But the Mongolian school system offers something not seen in some countries. The teachers and principals put flags, banners, paintings, and loudspeakers playing fund music to welcome the children. Some make a grand gathering and speech and give out balloons to welcome the children.
It gives "back to school" a happy and festive feeling. There is no doubt that Mongolians love their children, and invest much into those little ones.
In this day of terrorism, politics and negative economies around the world, it is refreshing to see the faces of children, eagerly walking to school. Their faces give us hope for the future.
When economists and politicians speak of "sustainable development" they couldn't do better than to take a few moments and ponder where the "sustainable future" of our nations really are.