The existence of humanity has over the years been characterized by an unprecedented number of military conflicts, social revolutions, and natural calamities. The recent past has also witnessed economic struggles and slowdowns that rendered the challenges of the world all the more complex. Presently, the world is more interconnected than in any other point in history and it is for this reason that the actions in one part of the globe can affect the rest of the world. Such has been evident in the European debt crisis and the United States housing bubble. These two events only go to show how much influence a single nations economy has on the entire world. It is in light of this interconnectedness and through other global issues that require a collective response such as climate change, shortages of water and increasing rates of food scarcity among others that shows that the most important thing for an individual is to work together with other parties to improve the world as opposed to only improving their own lives; a single life that will not significantly prove beneficial to relieving the global issues.
One of the major reasons why it should be important for all individuals in the world to make the world a better place is due to the fact that it promotes connectedness and collaboration. The unprecedented global issues can only be solved through the collaboration of various parties working towards a common goal. Such collaboration would, in turn, lead to the formation of connections and relationships that would help in developing effective solutions to such challenges. Furthermore, collaboration and connectedness enable tapping into an extensive pool of knowledge and expertise that would not be possible if ones objective was to only better their own lives (Keny-Guyer). As such, by promoting collaboration and connectedness, solutions to global problems can be developed effectively and relatively faster which results in the betterment of all or the majority of the people in the world as opposed to only benefiting a single life.
Making the world a better place being the primary goal of all individuals also has the advantage of facilitating advancements in various aspects of our lives. As pointed out in an article, Imagining the Future by Bruce Mau, it is only through the collective goal of improving the planet that the human race has worked together to improve agricultural innovations that have resulted in higher yields; to medical technologies to prevent epidemics from wiping out a considerable world population; and improve education particularly in regards to women which has resulted in reduced child mortality rates and higher life expectancy rates (Mau). Such advancements would not have been possible if the human race did not recognize the need to prioritize global needs as opposed to mainly concentrating on individual needs.
Furthermore, the importance of making the world a better place a top priority for all individuals ensures that the majority, if not all, of the people in the world, are working towards a common or a set of common goals. such common objectives ensure that the whole world has a commitment to realizing certain objectives by a given time. For instance, most of the countries in the world have adopted some form of a to-do list that bears such objective as the eradication of poverty and hunger, universal education for all, reduction of child mortality, environmental sustainability, and improvement of maternal health. Because such issues affect the majority of people in the world, it is only logical that they are prioritized and individual efforts should be aimed at realizing these objectives (Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on the US Commitment to Global Health). It only through such common objectives that the world will become a better place for everyone.
However, there are arguments that propose that it is only through the betterment of an individuals life that a particular individual can then make significant contributions to better improve the world. The argument this reasoning is hinged on the fact that when an individual first concentrates on making their own lives better, such an individual will over time have enough resources and experience to then make the world a better place. However, such reasoning and moves by an individual can lead to a risk of one being materialistic. As Mark points out in his article, What is the Good of Life, there is no limit to the acquisition. The more an individual acquires wealth and material things, the more that individuals desire to acquire more increases. This constant acquisition is not beneficial to the overall global population and over time it does not provide any additional utility, in terms of happiness, to the individuals (Kingwell 213). As such, it can be surmised that it is only through helping other people in the goal of improving the world that individuals can attain genuine happiness. This can be evidenced by the fact that the majority of the richest people in the world eventually turn to philanthropy where they dedicate significant amounts of their wealth to projects aimed at improving the world.
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on the US Commitment to Global Health. The US Commitment to Global Health: Recommendations for the Public and Private Sectors. Report. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US), 2009. Print.
Keny-Guyer, Neal. "Only collaboration can solve the world's most pressing problems." 19 January 2016. World Economic Forum. Document. 8 June 2017.
Kingwell, Mark. "What is the Good Life?" Kingwell, Mark. The World We Want: Restoring Citizenship in a Fractured Age. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000. 210-218. Print.
Mau, Bruce. "Imagining the Future: Why the cynics are wrong." 12 December 2006. The Walrus. Document. 8 June 2017.
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