“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Helen Keller
If you heard someone say “twenty- twenty”, would you think of vision? Up to the point of hearing a talk someone gave recently, I hadn’t thought of the year 2020 in this context. Using the thought of 20/20 vision, it poses a powerful thought about the lens through which you will view the year ahead.
The lens you view the year 2020 through will impact how you view the world. Your beliefs impact the choices you make. So, what are you believing? Are we living in a better or worse world now than in previous years?
According to a report from the United Nations (https://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/) for millions of people, life is better now than it was previously.
l From 1990 to 2005 the overall poverty rate in developing regions fell from 46% to 27%.
l From 1990 to 2010 the number of children that did not attend school dropped from 127 million to 63 million.
l From 1990 to 2009 child mortality rates for children under 5 reduced world-wide from 12.4 million to 8.1 million.
l From 1990 to 2008 women dying during childbirth or pregnancy has tumbled in countries like Rwanda down 51%, Ethiopia down 53%, Cambodia down 58%, and East Timor down 43%.
l From 1996 to 2008 the number of new HIV infections fell from 3.5 million to 2.7 million.
l Over 1.7 Billion people have gained access to safe drinking water.
Yes, more can be done. But while the 24/7 news media is telling you how bad it is to be alive in 2020, for millions of people it is in fact a better place than previous decades.
With some more recent statistics here is a short video looking at how being alive today has improved for so many.
More can always be done, and we should never become complacent but make sure you are alert to what you are allowing to shape your views.
Our world is quickly changing and though for some, technology means they might need to learn a new skill set to stay employed, for others it means they now have more opportunity than ever before.
Watch this whole video if you want to learn even more about how quickly our world is changing but I’ve queued it to play from the part of the interview where land titles (something you probably take for granted) are discussed.
So while the headlines around the world are reporting the decimation of a large portion of Australia due to fire it’s not all bad news down under. I was having breakfast this week with someone working on the front line of helping those affected by the fires. He was talking about the areas west of the fires that were having bumper crops this year. Their silos were so full they were looking at shipping the excess interstate.
The world is ever changing, and I urge you once again to be alert to who you are allowing to shape your beliefs about those changes. One of my favourite quotes from The Case for Christ comes to mind “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”
The year ahead and even the decade ahead is your opportunity to either make a major difference in the world or be so distracted by the carefully curated reports of the changes that you achieve very little.
Let me leave you this month with this quote:
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
― Albert Einstein
And because I can, here is a bonus quote. Sometimes one doesn’t have to choose one or the other - sometimes you can choose both.
“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
― Rob Siltanen
Next Month: From Adversity to Advocacy
Neville Hiatt was the 2020 Press Services International Tronson Senior Writers Award Winner for Australia. His previous posts for can be read here.
He spent a decade working for Radio Stations before his career was intermissioned by someone in a hurry to get home from work. For more of his award winning creativity visit http://nevillehiatt.com.
He also blogs for http://altcoincollege.com/covering the way cryptocurrencies and blockchain are changing our world.