The Global Village
Thinking of the world close up, as if it were a village of one hundred people, forces us to confront what we mean we say “we”.
…How often does our we come to include people of other faiths, other nations, other races? How often does our we link rather than divide? Our relations with the “other” may move through a number of phases. First we talk about them—an objective “other.” Then perhaps we talk to them, or more personally, we talk to you. And finally, we all talk with one another about us, all of us. This is the critical stage to which our…dialogue must take us if we are to be up to the task of creating communication adequate for an interdependent world.
If the world was a village of 100 people,
In the village would be:
6 North Americans
7 Latino Americans (Central and South Americans)
1 Caribbean Islander
There would be:
4 Chinese Folk Religionists
6 Other Religions
14 Atheists or Nonreligious
If the world were a global village of 100 people, one third of them would be rich or of moderate income, two thirds would be poor.
Of the 100 people, 5 of them would be U.S. Americans. These 5 would have over a third of the village’s entire income, and the other 95 would subsist on the other two thirds.
Of the 100 residents, 47 would be unable to read, and only one would have a college education.
About 35 would be suffering from hunger and malnutrition, at least half would be homeless or living in substandard housing.
How could the wealthy live in peace with their neighbors? Surely they would be driven to arm themselves against the other 95, perhaps even spend as U.S. Americans do, about twice as much per person on military defense as the total income of two thirds of the villagers.
The casual we for most of us does not include the 50 percent hungry, the 60 percent in shantytowns, and the 70 percent illiterate. Most of us construct our we without including them. Thinking of the world close up, as if it were a village of one hundred people, forces us to confront what “we” really means.
-Diana L. Eck
–Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banares (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993), 202-