There’s no doubt that we are the generation that takes everything for granted. We’re the group that expects everything on our plates with a dash of instant results on the side. We “have the worst day of our lives” when a plane is delayed for 20 minutes or there’s a bit of turbulence. The unbearable five hours a trip takes compared to the weeks it would have taken only 50 years ago.
I think that we’ve become so fortunate that we’ve forgot to take things into perspective, so fortunate that we’ve forgot our values and so wrapped up in the lives of celebs that we’ve forgot what goes on around the other side of this planet.
Moaning about our phones and plane flights? OK, so if you do this it’s not the end of the world; on one side it’s expected because results are something we’ve gotten used to with the advances in technology. However, in addition to this dysfunction, other things have joined the noise…
- We’ve become so obsessed with what other people think of us
- We’ve halted our childhood dreams due to lack of self esteem
- We’ve had the worst days of our lives because [insert something irrelevant here]
Now I think it’s time to zoom out a little bit, to see what life really is about. To see the kind of information that led me to write posts like this one and especially this one. Please don’t just read the following, say “mmm” and “ahh” and get on with your day.
Actually take these figures in, think about them. Imagine yourself possibly being in the same situation or your brother, sister, wife, husband, or cousin being in the situation billions of unfortunate humans find themselves waking up to.
21 Sickening Statistics
Sometimes we need to see the bigger picture…
- More than 2.8 billion people live on less than the equivalent of $2 per day
- More than 1.2 billion people live on less than the equivalent of $1 per day
- Nearly 1 billion people are illiterate (they can’t read or write)
- More than 1 billion people don’t have access to safe water
- 1/3 of all the world’s children under 5 suffer from malnutrition
- Every 3.6 seconds somebody starves to death
- - 3/4 of those who die are under the age of 5
- 32,637 people committed suicide in the USA in 2005
- - 25,907 of which were male
- – 6,730 of which were female
- Over 15,000 people are murdered each year in the USA alone
- Over 100,000,000 people around the world are homeless
- 750,000 people in the USA in 2005 were homeless
- – 41% of these were families
- 3,500,000 people in the USA in 2007 were homeless
- – 1,370,000 of which are under 18
- Swaziland – 32.0 years
- Angola – 37.9 years
- Zambia – 38.5 years
- Zimbabwe – 39.7 years
All of these are as equally moving as each other, but I must say that this one really saddened me: The assets of the world’s 3 richest men exceed the combined GDP of the world’s 48 poorest countries.
Even if I did have enough money to be one of the richest people on the planet, I wouldn’t be. When people are suffering around the world like this, how can you just sit there with your billions collecting interest? What is really so important that your money can get you over helping billions of people who are suffering?
I have huge respect for the likes of Bill Gates who has literally donated billions of dollars to set-up charitable foundations and help those in need; I just wish all the others would follow suit.
Why Share This?
My reasoning for posting those statistics is simple: we get so caught up in the small details of life we miss out on the reality around us. The next time you want to moan about a delayed flight, shout at your child for doing something small or cursing the world because rain cancelled your baseball game, think twice.
Before I started this blog I spent time caring what people thought of me, looked to find myself in the reactions of others and didn’t appreciate what I have in life. Even yesterday I got an email from someone called Billy saying I’m an idiot for posting pictures of myself on my blog because I look like a “mugging crap” (whatever that is). In the past I would have stopped blogging because of that and took my photo down, but now? Life’s too short.
Go for what you want and don’t look back. Be grateful for what you have, and make sure that everyone who matters to you knows about it. I’m 19 years old; I’m not sure how familiar you are with that age group but I look like an “idiot” to most of my (old) friends writing things like this. That’s fine, and it will be fine for you to do the things you want to do as well if you don’t look to find happiness or acceptance in others.
Do that and you’ll unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. If any of my 60+ posts so far have helped you in any way then I only ask one thing – that you help as many people as possible on your journey as well.