Living Simply - Why it's important
One of my favorite quotes from Gandhi is "Live Simply so that others might simply live." It's been a motto I've tried to follow for years, even before I knew it was from Gandhi. I learned it best in the Catholic Worker movement.
Most Americans have no comprehension of why Gandhi talked about living simply. This Global Village piece helps me to understand. Americans while only being about 15% of the world's population (at most) consume approximately 75% of the worlds resources. No matter how we might wish it, we can never bring the world up to our standard of living. Thus the importance of simplifying our own lives. If you think you live simply, take a look at this:
What if the world were a village of 100 people?
If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look like this. There would be:
14 from the Western Hemisphere (North andSouth America)
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be non white, 30 white
70 would be non-Christian, 30 would be Christian
89 would be heterosexual, 11 homosexual
59% of the entire world's wealth would be in the hands of only 6 people and all 6 would be citizens of the United States
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death, 1 would be near birth
Only 1 would have a college education and
Only 1 would own a computer.
Do you think legalization of marijuana, distribution of heroin or injection rooms would be on top of the agenda in such a global village?
With 70 out of 100 being unable to read, with 50 out of 100 suffering from malnutrition, and only one out of 100 having a college education, the directors of Snake Oil Ltd. would be out of business or stoned because they wouldn't know how to handle the situation, very much in the same way as they don't know how to handle the drug problems today.
We would need sober people, focusing on the real problems, to run the global village as we need sober people, focusing on the real problems, to develop any nation today.