“Wherever we look upon this earth, the opportunities take shape within the problems.”

—Nelson Rockefeller

Image of Hans Gosling

Image of Hans Rosling from TED.com

Looking at anything and declaring it a problem is a very human thing to do. In many ways, this very characteristic is what makes us human.

In his fascinating book, Factfulness, professor of international health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling and his colleagues Anna and Ola, offer an amazing new explanation of why we see the state of the world as far worse than the facts reveal.

Rosling explains what he calls the “Ten instincts that Distort our Perspective.” Among them are:

  • Dividing the world into camps such as “Us and Them,” or developed and undeveloped countries.
  • The way we consume media in which fear rules.
  • How we perceive progress versus believing that things are getting worse wherever we look.

Rosling and his team of researchers are by no means blind to the significant challenges facing the world. He is, however, asking all of us to look closely and clearly at the objective facts to better enable us to tackle the very real problems facing humanity.

EXERCISE:

What is at least one significant opportunity in our world that you are committed to working on, given this clearer and objective perspective?

Please consider watching Hans Rosling’s TED Talks, and if you wish to learn more about his important work, read his book.

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