Tuesday, January 22, 2013


After a recent class discussion, a student brought the following to me:
"Summary of the World"

If we could shrink the Earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people,
with all existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look like this:
There would be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans,
14 from North and South America, and 8 Africans.
41 would be female and 49 would be male.
70 would be nonwhite while 30 would be white.
30 would be Christians and 70 would be of other religions.
80 would be in substandard housing.
70 would be unable to read.
Half would suffer from malnutrition.
One would be near death and one would be near birth.
Only one would have a college education.
No one would own a computer.
Over half the entire village's wealth would be in the hands of six people,
and all six would be citizens of the United States.
When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective,
the need for both acceptance and understanding becomes glaringly apparent. 
This is why I love teaching. Because conversations in class strike up connections and ideas and links to other learning for students. In turn, they are constantly teaching me.
I make a lot of jokes about "first world problems"--and the truth is that some first world problems are real and painful and every bit as difficult as anyone else's. But I appreciate moments when my spoiled American self takes a step back and realizes how very blessed and lucky I am. How rare my life of comfort is. How much my education is actually worth. I must stop and express gratitude because my life is enlightened. Full of ease. Beautiful.

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