5,000,000,000 to 7,000,000,000 Neighbors
When I was in Junior High my sister and her boyfriend brought me on a trip to Boston. She was a music major and felt the need to get to a good music store. As this was pre-internet days there was not a music store at her fingertips. She convinced my parents she needed to drive to Boston. Looking back I think maybe I was supposed to be the chaperone for her and her boyfriend, however the other option is my mom wanted a day minus me. I think maybe there had been a grounding involved that she let up on for the benefit of both of us.
My sister was always good at bringing me on adventures. One of the highlights of that day was to go to the Museum of Science. We saw a science show, a display of the very dirty Boston Harbor (which now is surprisingly cleanish), and learned a tremendous amount of information about electricity, gravity, biology, etc. I remember clearly a digital display that indicated the population of the world. It was nearing 5 Billion people and I remember hypothesizing when it would happen. It occurred in 1987 to be exact. 5 Billion, a number too large to comprehend. To this day I can’t fathom it and now I can’t imagine 7 Billion, the number the population is estimated to have reached this week. I think of the space and where everyone fits. I get grumpy about the small space I live in and realize entire families live in what I consider my living/dining room. It helps me keep it in perspective, sometimes. However I do get overwhelmed in this global world and wonder who my neighbors are, beyond the ones I can holler to on my street. In this more connected world with internet and ability to reach out in new ways do I have more responsibility?
5 Billion, do you remember where you were when the population hit this milestone in 1987 and does it feel different now 24 years later with 7 Billion on this planet? There are 2 more billion people who reside on this world.