The Thinking of Dr. Hans Rosling is a Tonic for this Book Group
Rosemary Ganley The Peterborough Examiner November 20, 2019
Dr. Hans Rosling, known for his animated lectures, uses rolls of toilet paper to illustrate world population growth for a standing-room-only audience. CATHIE COWARD/TORSTAR
These are dreary times. Not just because it's November and we tighten our shoulders against cold winds, but because the global news is worrisome.
Almost everywhere, climate disasters and suffering, human greed and stupidity. People generally are unhappy.
I chuckled when I saw the T-shirt of my hairdresser last week: "I am Happy, and It Drives Everyone Crazy!"
I remind myself that people in other historic times endured great grief and loss. The study of human history is always instructive. So is an investigation into antidotes to glumness, such as political activism and spirituality.
Mindfulness, gratitude, a sense of the sacred, can be increased and deepened. It is crucial today.
Twenty-five years ago, a great German Jesuit priest named Karl Rahner wrote: "In the world to come, we will be mystics, or we will not be."
Also of help is a bracing dose of Dr. Hans Rosling, of Sweden, who served 20 years as a physician in rural Mozambique and then committed his energetic self to enlightening the world with facts.
His thesis is that the world is getting better but no one will admit it.
Rosling draws his facts from United Nations statistics. That body is assiduous about collecting facts, and a good thing, too.
His son, Ola and his daughter-in law, Anna, help him get the message out. They are technically hip, and have designed a "Bubble" technique to go with his TED Talks, preserved now on YouTube and well worth a look. Rosling is dedicated to "helping people carry only opinions for which there are strong supporting facts." He says, "I fight against devastating ignorance."
Misconceptions abound, he finds. Playfully, he asks every reader to take a 13-question quiz about the state of the world. For example, what percentage of the world's girls finish elementary school: 20 per cent, 40 per cent or 60 per cent? The answer is 60 per cent, but fewer than three in 10 people get it right. Continue Reading >HERE<
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