A Life-Changing Book for Change Agents
Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, by Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund.
TIME IS IN short supply these days. But not too short to take a moment to bring the book, Factfulness, to your attention. It's a must-read for anyone wanting to help make the world a better place and a great fit for anyone attracted to the AllDivineGlobal initiative to help heal the separation in the world.
One of Factfulness' most startling facts is that world-wide, from Asia to Africa, from Russia to China, from Europe to the Americas, the average number of children born per family today is down to 2.5 children. This is very good news regarding future overpopulation. Families with five, six, seven children are a thing of the past. Factfulness shows that this is due to a drastic reduction of extreme poverty. Which leads to the next amazing fact about world-wide change. To find out what it is, you should go and pick up the book.
We have problems, but...
It is true, there are several troubling trends going on right now in some of the world. But they are probably going to be short-term. No more than a generation or two. Maybe much less. In the long-term, however, trends are extremely encouraging as Hans Rosling is able to demonstrate with hard facts, moving personal anecdotes, humor and humanity. He is a very cool guy: a scientist and a sword swallower!
Rosling starts the book with a quiz the reader can take and then builds the rest of the material around the astounding answers.
A new way to see the world
One of the most helpful things about Factfulness is that Hans Rosling gives us a new model to replace the very binary construct of "developed" and "developing" world. It's eye-opening and consciousness-raising. Just like gender identities can't be accurately described by the binary model of "female" and "male", the world's wellbeing can't be expressed by the binary construct of "rich" and "poor". Rosling, instead, offers a model of "4 Levels," from poorest to richest with the majority of the world living on Level 2 (not on Level 1 as most people who were quizzed assumed). Bill Gates, on his blog, gatesnotes, has a nifty little animated graph here to show the four levels and who lives where and what life on each level looks like.
I recommend you borrow the book from your local library or buy it at your local independent book store. In Seattle you can get it here. (I'm not an affiliate, I just wanted you to have a link to a local store.)
While you wait for your book to arrive in the mail, check out this TED Talk by Hans and his son, Ola.