So many times we ask ourselves, if we could change the pain or trouble we see in this world, how much different would this life we live be?
We have all seen the commercials that address this issue: if we begin doing random selfless acts for others and then they in return do a selfless act for another, a cycle begins. The snowball effect of service and kindness gains strength. It can change how we treat others in general because when others begin to take precedence, things begin to change.
Our world has many problems within it; however, maintain hope that there can be a change, a shift is essential to our future. Below I have listed 10 of the most chilling statistics our world has today. They are bone-chilling, yes, but without action these statistics stay the same or become worse. Without people stepping up and speaking out, there is no progress, and these are just words on a page.
• Almost half the world — over 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.
• Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.
• Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
• Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
• 1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, 270 million have no access to health services. 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (or roughly 29,000 children per day).
• According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”
• Infectious diseases continue to blight the lives of the poor across the world. An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with 3 million deaths in 2004. Every year there are 350–500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities: Africa accounts for 90 percent of malarial deaths and African children account for over 80 percent of malaria victims worldwide.
• For the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are:
o 640 million without adequate shelter (1 in 3)
o 400 million with no access to safe water (1 in 5)
o 270 million with no access to health services (1 in 7)
o 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized
o 15 million children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS (similar to the total children population in Germany or United Kingdom)
• Children out of education worldwide: 121 million
My challenge today is to make these statistics more than words and numbers, but make them sounds and actions for a better world! What would your world look like? What would our world look like if we discarded our cynical, don’t care attitudes and started truly caring, moving, doing?