Folium: The Miniature Earth Project
What if we reduced the global community of 7.13 billion to a village of just 100 people?
Would culture-locked Americans gain a better understanding of the differences in the world? And, more importantly, would this understanding help promote dialogue and a tolerance for the needs of peoples of different cultures; even the needs of their own people?
The Miniature Earth Project is a video which presents a simplified version of findings originally published in 1990 by Donella Meadows in her “State of the Village Report”. The Project was produced in 2001 by Allysson Lucca, a brazilian who currently lives in NYC. Both are based on statistics from the World Health Organization, WorldBank and the United Nations, among other sources. The goal of both publications is to reduce the world population’s mind-numbing size and variations to the same percentages which would be found if the global community were a village of one hundred people. The purpose being, of course, to build awareness, understanding and gratitude for what we have.
See the original video here:
“Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six variétés de fromage?”
(“How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?”)
– Charles de Gaulle
Our neighbors in the world village speak over 6000 languages. And only 3% have an internet connection. This leads to a serious lack of communication; we just can’t hear each other well. In addition, the Miniature Earth Project finds that the world village spends $1.7 trillion dollars on defense: that’s a mighty big fence around each of our neighbors in the village.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm… Makes a person just stop and think …
Between the vast variety of languages, the lack of access of most villagers to modern day communication and the overwhelming effort to lock each other out with weapons, the effort at building a global community is daunting.
But what if…?
According to the Miniature Earth Project, 6 people in our world village own about 50% of all the wealth while 43 of our neighbors, out of the 100 total, live without proper sanitation.
What if everyone agreed to tithe, give just 10% of their income, to the world community for an increased quality of life for everyone?
Compared to the $1.7 trillion the leaders of our village are spending on defending themselves from each other, they spend only $18 billion on humanitarian aid.
What if all political and military leaders were required by the global community to coexist on the space station even for a week each year?
Donella Meadows, in her article “The Best Nations of the World”, asks what if we lived in a world where countries didn’t measure the GNP per capita to judge their national wealth, but based their wealth on the level of their Infant Mortality Rate?
The United Nations has adopted the Declaration of Rights of the Child”. These rights include protection from harm and discrimination, the right to life, health, education and survival, in addition to the right to be respected. Only the United States and Somalia did not approve of these rights and Somalia does not currently have a government able to make such an approval.
What if the United States, once a leader for democracy and people’s rights, were to detach herself from so many capitalist liens and strike out once again as a leader for the well-being of the planet and of the peoples who live in our global community?
The WorldBank data source indicates that out of 213 countries studied, the United States is 7th in terms of GNP with only 6 other countries in the world reporting a higher per capita income. This figure ranks us as one of the richest nations in the world. However, when comparing the well-being of all Americans with that of the citizens of these other 213 countries, one discovers some alarming statistics. The amount the American government spends on health costs for its citizens earns the country 136th place in the world. To clarify, this means that 135 other countries, well over half the total in the world, commit more money to maintaining and ensuring the healthiness of their people. A second intolerable statistic involves the Infant Mortality Rate of these nations: 45 other countries in the world have a lower IMR than America.
What if we sorted out our priorities? What if we stopped talking about family values in principle and started putting our money into valuing the family in practice? And, not just our own families, but the families of all our neighbors in the global village that is our planet?
Stay positive! We’ve got this if we continue building awareness and keep the connections open.
The LEAF Project
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