Did you know that TWO of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA could fit inside Russia? And that TWO RUSSIAS could fit inside Africa?! Does our perspective on the world affect how we relate to the world? Or our ability to care?
Many people have criticized the maps of the world (The Mercator Map) that have come out of Europe (and America) as not only being Western European-centric, but also that they truly misrepresent the actual size of the world and it’s landmass/continents.
An attempt to correct this was the Gall Peters Projection map that shows the world as it truly is. (see below)
The question we must ask is, “Does our perspective or view of the world affect our involvement and concern for that world?” Does how we perceive the world, change how we behave on behalf of that same world?
Here is a comparison of the two maps: Our biggest concern is that so few people are EVEN AWARE that there is another, more accurate way of looking at the world. This is a huge example of how “image shapes perception.”
And isn’t this the problem? That we “think” the world is all about us, not realizing that the world is a much greater place, with greater problems, in need of greater action on behalf of the social good, better solutions and much more discussion?
While it’s true that all maps distort the shape of the world – Drawing a sphere to display it flat – and even the Peter’s Projection is not perfect, it is one more attempt to more fairly reflect the world as we know it so that we do not continue to respond to the world and it’s crises and needs from a euro-centric, or U.S.-centric mindset. And isn’t that a good thing?
To see a little more on how the world all “fits” together, check out https://screen.yahoo.com/popular/9-animated-maps-change-way-040000146.html?format=embed
What do you think? Does our image of the world make any difference?
Does it make you care any more? Change you in any way?
Another illustration of how big Africa really is and why we should care is shown at http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2010/11/cartography
This is why we care. This is why we specialize in serving non-profits, charities, and mission agencies worldwide.
We have also compiled a list of the best books on community development and how you can help the world’s extreme poor here: http://bit.ly/1zd5s0F