China may abide by a “one-child” policy, but that hasn’t slowed down the rest of the world. According to a recent New York Times article, UN demographers announced that, as of November 1, there are 7 billion of us walking the globe (10+09). Overpopulation is in full force.
It’s a vast world, but we’re bumping shoulders more and more. We zigzag our way through life—working, eating and sleeping; building things up and tearing them down; changing, connecting, learning and trying to make sense of it all. We try to remember, as Charles Eames once said, that “…while we may think we are different from other people in some ways and at some moments, the fact of the matter is that we’re a hell of a lot more like each other than we are different, and we’re certainly more like each other than we’re like a tree or a stone.” Fundamentally, we’re quite similar.
Our brains each have about 10+10 neurons and 10+14 synapses. On average, our hearts beat about 100,000 times every day (10+05), and about 35 million times each year (10+07), according to NOVA. That means that in our collective lifetimes our hearts will beat 1.75 x 10+19 times. The blood cells pumping through our hearts to sustain us are only 10-18 cubic meters. National Geographic reports that our lungs have 600 million alveoli (10+08), and together, we breathe in roughly 1.7 trillion gallons of air every day (10+13).
All 7 billion of us are made up of the same stuff. And all we can hope is that, until we’ve had our last thought, last beat and last breath, we do something positive and inspiring for the world around us. Ironically, it turns out one of the best things we can do, is work toward implementing policies that will address our swelling population growth.