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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Perspective

I received this as part of my monthly Bryan Dodge newsletter. Bryan is a, very upbeat guy. He did a short keynote address for my company a few years ago - very approachable and energetic. I've had an opportunity to write to him on occasion, and he's a genuinely good guy.

Nevertheless, this was an interesting if not timely read:
One of the principles of making a Good Life for ourselves is to focus on others and make a difference in their life. This article brings home how good we have it in comparison.
By the Most Rev. Charles V. Grahmann

Reflecting on the violence in the world and the difficulty of people living in harmony and peace, I happened upon the following analysis of world demographics. As I read them, I understand why people can’t get along with each other.

If we could reduce the world’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this:

Sixty of the 100 would be Asians;
Twelve of the 100 would be Europeans;
Five of the 100 would be U.S. or Canadian;
Eight of the 100 would be Latin Americans;
Fourteen of the 100 would be Africans;
Forty-nine of the 100 would be female;
Fifty-one of the 100 would be male;
Eighty-two of the 100 would be non-white;
Eighteen of the 100 would be white;
Eighty-nine of the 100 would be heterosexual;
Eleven of the 100 would be homosexual;
Thirty-three would be Christian;
Sixty-seven would be non-Christian.

In this village of 100, 5 percent would control 32 percent of the entire world’s wealth, and all of them would be U.S. citizens; 80 would live in substandard housing; 24 would not have electricity; 67 would be unable to read; only one would have a college education, 50 would be malnourished and one dying of starvation; 33 would be without access to a safe water supply; one would have HIV; one near death; two would be near birth; seven people would have Internet access.

From this condensed perspective, if you woke up this morning with more health than sickness, you are luckier than the million that will not survive this week. If you have never experienced a war, the loneliness of an imprisonment, an agony of torture, or a famine, you are happier than 500 million persons in this world. If you are able to go to church, mosque or synagogue without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are happier than 3 billion persons in this world.

If there is a meal in your refrigerator, if you are dressed and have shoes, if you have a bed and a roof above your head, you are better off than 75 percent of the people in this world. If your parents are still alive and still married, then you are a rarity. If you have a bank account, money in your purse, some trifle in your coin box, you belong to 8 percent of well-provided people.

What’s wrong with this picture? There is a great divide. Perhaps therein lies the root of the violence, hatred, killing, in our world. In our little village of 100 people, with the reality as stated, there would be turmoil. That village is our world. We let it be that way. If anyone trods on what we have or tries to take away our freedom, enjoyed by a small minority in our village, we would unleash our weapons of mass destruction.

This is your world! You are able to make a difference!


If you feel that you cannot make a difference in this world, then I ask you to read this article again. I believe that the reason people lose the energy to make a difference is the misunderstanding of the reality of their own situation. Once you see what you have, and stop looking for all the things that you don’t have, you can move forward towards making the difference that is truly needed in the world today. I hope you can see that your focus matters and it is your choice. Always remember, if you choose to make a difference in this world, you must first search for a way to do so. Rarely does a good idea in this area of your life ever really interrupt you on your path. One person caring about another person represents one of life’s greatest gifts.

Bryan J. Dodge
In case anyone is interested, Bryan's website is here.
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