World Had 100 People, How Many Would Read This?
friend Father Dan Madigan, head honcho of Sacramento
Food Bank Services, which he founded in Oak Park so many
years ago, has that way with words that’s legendary
among the Irish. Father Dan also has a way with numbers
which may not be quite as common with those whose veins
run with Celtic
blood. But whether original or borrowed, this
reduction of the global population to a village inhabited by exactly 100 people
may help to clarify the state of the world for many. I know it did for me.
Shrinking the globe’s billions to a mere 100 would result in the following:
First of all there’d be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 from North and South
America combined and eight from Africa.
Of that total, 52 would be female and 48 male, with 70 being nonwhite and 30
white. When it came to religion, there’d be 70 non-Christians and 30 Christians.
In the matter of sexual preference, 89 would be heterosexual and 11 homosexual.
the matter of the entire world’s wealth, just six people
would possess 59 percent of the total, and all of them would
be in the United States.
Getting down to the nittiest of the gritty — or should that be the grittiest
of the nitty? — 80 would live in substandard housing, 70 would be illiterate,
50 would suffer from malnutrition, one would be near death, one would be near
birth and one — just one — would have a college education.
Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Only one would own a computer, meaning that lone
individual would have no one to communicate with via e-mail. On the other
have no spam to contend with, either.
As Father Dan points out, considering the world from this compressed perspective “makes
the need for acceptance, understanding, education and broad thinking glaringly
He then goes on to point out some other facts worth serious consideration:
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed
than the million who will not survive the week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you’re ahead of 500
million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture
or death, you are more blessed than 3 billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead
and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of the world.
If you have money in the bank and in your wallet, you are among the top 8
percent of the world’s wealthy.
If your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare, even
in the United States and Canada.
If you were able to read this, you are more blessed than over 2 billion people
in the world who cannot read at all.
Something to think about? Indeed, a great deal to think about. The question
is, will we?
• • •
in the boondocks half an hour out of Placerville, where
the foothill temperatures can dip a bit low seasonally, the Coldwell
Banker firm has a real estate agent with a name extremely
well-suited to the sometimes chilly clime: Sally Long Johns.
If your name is Betty Bikini, I’d think you’d do better in a coastal
area or possibly in Hawaii.
• • •
seems to me that one of the toughest ways there is to make a
living is through humor, if only because the person so engaged
has to be ever on the alert. I mean alert to both what’s
going on and to what’s likely to catch the popular fancy.
Then, to make matters worse, what’s funny is so transitory that what draws
a laugh one day evokes only a puzzled look the next.
For example, back in the 1930s, when you could buy a good, hardbound book for
a couple bucks, Ogden Nash was a popular humorist in verse — widely read,
widely quoted, widely laughed at, widely imitated.
Just the other day I happened to pick up a Nash book which fell open to a poem
about “The King of Kings” which went:
“The Emperor of Abyssinia
“Had cousins in Harlem and Virginia,
“And staunch supporters in Geneva
“Whose strength was that of Little Eva.
“A King of Kings and Conquering Lion
“Whose land is full of oil and iron
“Might just as well be Cousin Hetty.
“I hope the Lion likes spaghetti.”
Draw a blank? Sure. It’s a long time since Haile Sellasie was emperor of
Ethiopia, earlier called Abyssinia. Dubbed the “Conquering Lion” and “King
of Kings,” he was attacked by Italy’s fascist regime under Benito
Mussolini (thus the “spaghetti” line), and despite moral support
by the League of Nations (headquartered in Geneva at the time), Haile Sellasie
lost his throne.
If you really need more proof that humor has a short life, stay up late some
night and watch some of those ancient sitcom reruns. Even with the laugh tracks,
what once seemed hilarious now is lucky to coax the slightest smile.
Go into something more lucrative, young fella. Say like manufacturing buggy whips.
• • •
said the reason folks read the Bible more as they grow
older is that they’re cramming for their finals — and
hoping God grades on the curve!
retiring from a long and respected career with The Sacramento Bee,
Stan Gilliam found that he just couldn't stop writing. So he brought
his "Stan's Sacramento" column to the Spectrum, where
it has been a favorite of readers for 15 years ... and counting.
Focus Humor 55-Plus
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