While our United States federal and state governments debate budgetary issues and decide how (or whether) to trim services and expenses, it might be worth pointing out the levels toward which the human spirit will rise in the quest for self-betterment.
This boy, studying in a pool of lamplight cast from a hotel marquee in Rishikesh, India, certainly could teach American students (and politicians) a few things about desire and determination and perseverance. The very same sort of willpower this boy displays, a stubborn individual drive, is one of the things that has made America great. It is one of the things that continues to make America great. But it is also a thing we must guard as we, as a people, become accustomed to our privileged way of life.
As the democratic protests across the Middle East and North Africa continue, it should be noted that the relative satisfaction of a people with their government seems to be less related to the overall standard of living and more closely tied to the opportunity a government provides for its citizens to succeed, to maximize their own potential, to make something of themselves. This, along with the promotion of basic human rights and tolerance, should be the marks by which a society judges itself. It is tough to quantify the amount by which any bill of law or regulation improves these aspects but anything directly reducing freedom and individual opportunity would be Not Quite Right.