The author is SVP and Chief Design Officer at Pepsico
January 17, 2020 · 4 min read •
I took this picture a few days ago, in India. This women was living on a side walk, with her baby. I was passing by with my car. She had sadness and desperation in her eyes. The baby instead had still curiosity in his, that curiosity in the eyes of every new born creature in the world. But I could see, or maybe feel, a first glimpse of another kind of wonder, painted on that baby face, like if he was asking himself: “is this the world where I was born, where I am supposed to live and grow…?”
In India 196 millions people go hungry every day. But this issue is much broader than India. The FAO estimates that as many as 25,000 people lose their lives every day as a result of hunger in the world and that adds up to roughly 9.1 million people who die of starvation each year. The problem is also much broader than starvation. In Africa for instance 3 millions kids die of diarrhea every 365 days. In other parts of the world people are suffering or dying every hour for the most absurd reasons. 30+ conflicts and wars are active today around the planet. And in these hours, from Lebanon to Bolivia, from Chile to Hong Kong, all the way to Sudan, people are protesting against the establishment, fighting for freedom and protesting for their rights. And this is just a fraction of what’s going on around the world.
We live in one planet, we are one species. Dust in the universe. Literally, dust. Visualize a particle of dust in your house: we are millions of times smaller than that, as a planet, in the universe. And yet, on that little particle of dust that is planet Earth, we find every way to destroy each other, every day. We have plenty of resources for everybody and with those resources we could just live in harmony, no wars, no conflict, enjoying the beauty of this world, taking care of each other. But many of us prefer spending time destroying each other. Power should be used to guarantee peace, to drive efficiency, to lead progress, to foster prosperity. And yet, since the agricultural revolution, for thousands and thousands of years, we have been experiencing the worst misuse of this power, never learning from the past.
To love, to respect, to care, to creatively express ourselves, through art, poetry and science, all of this makes us human and elevates us towards a dimension that transcends our own lives.
To kill each other, to let millions of people die every day, to forget about those millions of people, to live in denial, to lie and to cheat, to cumulate wealth and power at cost of others, may still be human, unfortunately, as history has shown us. But it’s a kind of “human” that I would place beneath animal status. It’s human instinct without humanity, human instinct unfiltered and deprived of purposeful love and positive intellect, the most beautiful parts of humanity. Human instinct that threaten now the very existence of humanity.
Some people may think: what does this has to do with LinkedIn? Well, change starts in our every day life, every hour of the day, including those many hours spent at work and on those social media platforms where often hate beats love with a power and visibility that is scaring. Change starts with our individual behaviors and our way of thinking, in everything we do, every day. To think that a few people in power are evil and all others want something different is sometimes delusional and naïf: how are we every day, in our every day life, with ourselves and with others. Are we kind? Are we caring? Are we loving? Are we inspiring others, with our discoveries, with our inventions, with our positive energy…? How do we react to a post that eventually we disagree with? How do we treat our team members? Are we angry at others? Are we aggressive to others?
The collective behaviors of each of us has the potential power of creating a better world. Or a bad one. If we are kind, if we are honest, if we are creative, if we are good to the world, the world will reflect that, the world will become a reflection of that. It starts with us. At work, at home, in our social life.
We need to fix a few things right now, in multiple areas of the world, and that requires some accelerated and extra ordinary intervention. I don’t want to discuss the how and the what of that, I am not qualified for that. But let’s initiate in parallel a progressive change that starts with our every day lives and can build the sustainable foundations for a better world. For that I am qualified, as every human being in the planet. Let’s start with our neighbor, with our team members, with the random person we meet in an elevator, with the individual that post on our social media platforms. Let’s use the weapons of kindness, honesty, comprehension, creativity, intellect, inspiration. For us, today, and for the generations to come…
image courtesy: Mauro Porcini
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