Can We Make the World a Better Place?

by Belinda Munoz on January 20, 2012

I stumbled on this quirky book of quotes called Women Know Everything the other day. I’ve been working with a lot of women for many years, so I’m not one to dispute this statement. Consider the fact that women typically don’t start wars or blow up buildings. Instead, women give life. Women know tips and tricks about living, loving and getting along (and other less noble things, I’m sure). If at first they don’t, they figure it out. If they can’t figure it out, they ask for help; not because they’re helpless or needy or manipulative but because they are able to locate themselves in the interdependent nature of our us-ness.

Women, at some point in their lives, figure out the value of cooperation and learn that by applying its principles, lives improve.

Helen Keller said, alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. Rosemary Brown, a Canadian politician, said, until all of us have made it, none of us have made it. Virginia Burden Tower, an American writer, used different words with the same sentiment, cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there.

Certain wise men were also clued in on the merits of cooperation. Bertrand Russell, one of my favorite Western philosophers, said, the only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation. Albert Einstein said, a hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday we recently celebrated, said, we may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

Everyone I know wants a better world, yet when we look around, one has to wonder if all this praise for cooperation is mere lip service. Opportunities exist for some but not for others and equality remains one of those words that seems possible only in mathematical equations. Are we, deep down, too selfish to create mutually beneficial solutions so that we all advance together and no one is left behind? Are we too self-absorbed in our too-comfortable place to want to do anything so that others who have much less may also obtain some degree of comfort and ease? Do we only want to help ourselves and not others?

I don’t know.

What I do know is the world is full of parents, teachers, artists and dreamy doers who give everything they have to what they do. I bet they could write books on cooperation, collaboration and interdependence. They go about their business with commitment, passion and joy. And I can’t help but think that there’s hope to making the world a better place because of them.

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Can we make the world a better place?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mimi January 20, 2012 at 8:26 am

Thank you for this thought provoking post, Belinda. I love the quotes you included especially the one by Einstein.

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2 Anisi from Santa Fe January 20, 2012 at 9:10 am

Your simple question at the end tears at my heart. CAN we? I think we can, Belinda, and I hope my little daily efforts help in some way. Thanks again for a beautiful post.

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3 Amber January 20, 2012 at 10:18 am

Belinda, I do think we can make a difference because, like you said, there are SO many who give all they have to change the current system. Our voices and actions must go for something, right?

I have to hold on to the belief, and hope, that our reasonable voices will soon be heard over the roar of racism, sexism, etc. Surely, in our advanced world, people will begin to see that love should always overshadow hate and that many of our long-held beliefs just might be wrong.

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4 ayala January 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Belinda, inspiring words. I hope and I want to believe that we can make the world a better place.
Hope all is well with you.

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5 Kim Nelson January 23, 2012 at 11:32 am

I am certain of my power to make the world a better place. I know what I am tasked with… love. Simply. Purely. Without judgement. Unreservedly. Unconditionally. Neither easy nor entirely natural, I work every day to hone my loving and to be accepting and in alignment with the goodness that is. Sounds a little “woo-woo”, I know, but it really is that simple… and that difficult!
Glad to have found you, Belinda!

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6 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri January 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm

The quotes are certainly inspiring. I think we can make a difference. One person, one act at a time. I try with my little millimeter of my corner – whether it is a donation, volunteering, or giving an extra hand to someone in need.
This space and your words always make me think beyond myself. And I thank you for that.

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