I am currently at a robotics tournament out of state and as we were driving down here I started looking at a couple things around me. The truth is that there is a lot of stuff that you don’t even think about all around you. Take the hotel room I am writing this in, there is a mass produced painting in front of me, a lamp, a pad of paper, a TV, a fire alarm, a desk and a coffee machine. Someone, and likely many people, had to take the time to design, test and mass produce all of these items. Pretty crazy.

Lets focus on the coffee maker for a second. Someone had to say, “These hotel rooms need coffee makers” next someone had to get that contract for a company to make coffee makers approved by a board. Next a group of engineers had to create an initial design that they though would solve the problem they had been presented with. Going to their boss, they discovered they had forgotten to add the ability to pour two cups at the same time. They went back to the drawing board and redesigned the whole thing.

Finally it was complete so they handed it off to the manufacturing team who then hired over 300 people to assemble the parts of the coffee machine until they had assembled the required number. Those were then shipped across sea to the USA and then distributed via semi-truck to hotels across America. Whew! That’s quite a bit of work for just one piece of a standard hotel room! And the crazy thing is that the process I just described was massively simplified and didn’t mention half the people involved. According to Warley Design, a design can take anywhere from 23 to 75 weeks to become a product (http://www.warleydesign.co.uk/downloads/XLS-455-1B_devt_schedule_web.htm). That is quite a bit of time!

Road Systems

Okay, now lets think about the road system. You probably drive in a car at least once a week. Now think about how many cars are around you ever time you drive. Each person in each car is living a life just the same as you are, with struggle and success, love and pain.

Each section of sidewalk was planned and approved by a designer, poured by a worker and walked on by thousands, sometimes millions of people. According to New York Magazine, about 9.2 jobs are created per mile of road built (http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/topic/jobs-per-mile-2011-9/). There are 4.12 million miles of road in the United States alone. Obviously they were not all built at the same time and didn’t need to employ 9 people per mile but still kind of crazy to think about the time and energy put into a piece of the Earth that you drive over in a minute.

Dots

Alright that’s enough of abstract examples. The following paragraph has 5,000 periods. Think about each one as a separate person living a life just the same way you are.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Now realize that each dot is actually represents 1,488,400 individual lives. That is approximately how many people are currently living on Earth. Wow! That’s kind of crazy to think about. Then, you need to realize where you stand. In that whole thing of dots, there is one that is a different color, that one dot is you. And even that is not correct, you are actually 1/1,488,400th of that dot. Those 1,488,400 people now become the people that are just enough like you so they might like the same things as you or do the same sports. For perspective, the population of Hawaii is about 1.428 million. Also, the amount of people in the USA that rock climb on a regular basis is about 9 million (https://www.climbing.com/news/first-national-study-to-examine-rock-climbing-related-injuries/).

Photo of child sifting through trash other people have left
Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

What happens if your “group” each decides to pick up a piece of garbage while hiking? Over 1.4 million pieces of garbage would be picked up! With some simple math and a few searches, that’s about 32 tons of garbage. If you take the 10 seconds to clean up a piece of trash, your action could create over 32 tons of good.

Awards

I was recently talking to someone who won a national award, a silver award out of about 350,000 contestants. About 3,165 awards were given with about 80% of those being silver or above. At this point the math isn’t hard. They come out to be in the top 7.2% of individuals, quite an accomplishment! If you have at all participated in any national activities (NHS, Habitat For Humanity, FIRST Robotics Competitions, National Spelling Bee, 4-H, Model United Nations) then you most likely near the top of some list. If you (like myself :) ) made it to a FIRST FTC Super Regionals tournament then you are in the top 288 teams out of a total of 5278. This means you are in the top 5.4% of all FTC teams. This year, because of ranking, my team is actually in the top 3.8% of teams. Pretty crazy. (If you want more crazy numbers then check this article out!)

You are currently living 1 year of your life out of the total 12,409,170,000 years of life lived by people currently in the United States. By being average, you are still “better” in some way than 50% of the population. Be adventurous! Think about how many peoples lives you have impacted in a good way. If you are proud of that number, great. If you aren’t, then you better start somewhere. Visit http://freerice.com (Yeah that’s the only place I could think of where you could still do stuff from your phone or computer).  If you do good, then you improve so many peoples lives. Go out and do some good!

There are a lot of people on Earth…
Tagged on:                                                             

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.