The Biggest Problem in the World – Not What You Think


Is it terrorism? Certainly the killing of 50 innocent people at an Orlando nightclub by a sick gunman would indicate this is the case. Homegrown terrorism in the United States is a growing threat. But is it the number one problem?

It is not.

What about Climate Change? The latest Congressional report in the United States says climate change will result in a significant increase in hurricane damage, and that the government won’t be able to afford the financial recovery in the decades ahead. Climate Change is therefore becoming an enormous risk to the financial stability of governments the world over. But is it the number one problem?

It is not.

Surely, global poverty is our largest threat. The latest statistics reveal that half of the world’s population live on less than $2.50 a day. About 1.5 billion people are living in extreme poverty, at less than $1.25 a day. And this figure shocked me: almost a billion people lack access to clean drinking water.

But is poverty at the top of the list?

It is not.

Could it be corruption? Corruption is such a problem in the world that Egypt has an “anti-corruption” chief as part of its government. But get this. Egypt has just appointed a new anti-corruption chief because the previous occupant of that position went on trial for lying.

But is corruption public enemy number one?

It is not.

Crime is next on our list. The country with the most murders? It is not the United States. Honduras, located in Central America, has 92 murders per 100,000 people according to the United Nations (compared to 5 per 100,000 in the U.S.). But homicide and crime of all kinds, is not the biggest problem.

What is the biggest issue facing the planet?

It is us.

Human beings are responsible for the creation of each of the problems listed here. We are the “source” of all these ills.

The inability of human beings to work together to solve common challenges is standing in the way of world progress.

Rather than seeing differences between us as things to be valued, we allow differences to divide us.

The number one problem is the failure of humankind – countries, states and individuals – to unite in a common cause.

Each one of us is responsible. Many of us are content to go about our business and push aside world problems as issues for politicians to solve.

We believe that any help from us will be futile anyway.

But we’re wrong.

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”

– Mother Theresa

It was Mother Theresa who said – if enough people care, and commit to taking action, we will most certainly be able to eradicate poverty and other world problems. There is power in numbers. Immense power.

Leaders today are failing to unite us. They have failed at addressing what is the true, number one problem on this tiny planet.

It is the most urgent challenge all leaders face.

And it is the most urgent challenge we all face.

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