When I look at the news headlines I see mostly stories about murder, corruption and all forms of mayhem.  I believe this presents a very distorted view of the world, and the human race.

In my blog I try to present a more balanced view.  Below are examples of people trying the make the world better.  Stories that don’t make the headlines.

Of course the newspapers, and TV news shows, have a lot more subscribes than I do.  🙂  I guess most people really would prefer to read about murder, corruption and mayhem.

I believe the vast majority of people are trying to make the word better for their families, and their neighbors.  Only a very small percentage are criminals, but they are the ones who get the headlines and help foster, reinforce, the negative view many have of mankind.

What do you think?

1) From a story in the New York Times, by Donald McNeil, about Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, and a rich man who is reaching out to help the poor.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/health/09prof.html?hpw

“Andrew Witty is not quite as young or as buff as Anderson Cooper, but he does interviews in shirtsleeves from the slums of Nairobi and rural hospitals in Uganda.

What makes that unusual is that Mr. Witty is not a roving CNN anchor, but the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s second-largest drug company.

Besides being the youngest person in such a post — he was appointed in 2008 at age 43 — he is also making a name for himself by doing more for the world’s poor than any other leader of a colossus of Big Pharma.”

Now Glaxo is ranked No. 1 on the Access to Medicine Index, created in 2008 by an organization based in the Netherlands that rates pharmaceutical companies on their stances toward the poor much as Transparency International ranks countries on corruption.

Glaxo has cut deals with drug makers like Dr. Reddy’s in India and Aspen Pharmaceuticals in South Africa to support their new drugs and jointly market Glaxo brands.

It is teaching Brazil’s state vaccine company, Fiocruz, how to brew its new pneumococcal vaccine.

Last year, in a speech to Harvard medical students, Mr. Witty promised to keep the prices of all Glaxo drugs in poor countries to no more than 25 percent of what was charged in rich ones, and to donate one-fifth of all profits made in poor countries toward building their health systems.

2) Stef Wertheimer’s, 83, one of Israel’s most successful industrialists, has an innovative plan to solve the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, using industry as a vehicle of peace.

From an article in World Press, by Sima Borkovski:

http://www.worldpress.org/Mideast/3475.cfm

“If people are busy with work and earn good wages, they won’t have the time or the motivation to engage in terror. Religious fanatics only flourish where poverty and despair rule.” This is the basic principle behind Stef Wertheimer’s innovative plan to solve the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, using industry as a vehicle of peace.

Wertheimer, 83, one of Israel’s most successful industrialists, is anything but a dreamer. He has established an industrial empire consisting of ISCAR, the precision metal-cutting tools company founded in 1982, and five industrial parks, intentionally situated in peripheral areas in Israel. These complexes of export-oriented factories generate annual sales of $2.7 billion and provide employment to their surrounding areas. According to Wertheimer, “There are no unemployed, only people who are unlucky to find a job.”

100 islands of peace

Wertheimer’s initiative to create 100 industrial parks throughout the Middle East that will employ Israelis and Palestinians might sound a bit far-fetched, but it has already gained the support of important policymakers. The most prominent one is George Mitchell, U.S. envoy to the Middle East, who is currently on a regional tour of the Middle East meeting with leaders in order to reignite the peace process. Wertheimer’s peace enterprise is acknowledged in Europe as well. It is symbolic that, in March 2008, 70 years after he fled Nazi Germany with his family, Wertheimer returned to Germany to receive the Buber-Rosenzweig-Medal in Dusseldorf for his vision to advance peace through industry.”

“In this part of the world we don’t have oil or vast territories, and therefore we must rely on industry that can be exported to make it possible for us become part of the free world,” he explained. “Both Israelis and Palestinians are nations consisting of refugees, and unfortunately we have grown accustomed to living in fear. But it doesn’t have to stay that way forever. Israel needs to realize that power cannot provide an answer, and the Palestinians need to understand that they won’t solve their problems with terror. I believe factories should be the new path for peace. In all of our industrial parks, people of various nationalities and religions work side by side, and the conflicts are left aside because they need to meet their deadlines,” he insisted.

Wertheimer’s Industrial Parks provide a five-year incubator for small manufacturing export companies. Entrepreneurial creativity is encouraged, and the parks also include cultural facilities, such as sculpture gardens and museums, to display the beauty of industry.”

3) The thesaurus might equate “disabled” with synonyms like “useless” and “mutilated,” but ground-breaking runner Aimee Mullins is out to redefine the word. Defying these associations, she hows how adversity, having both legs amputated as a child because she was born without shinbones, actually opens the door for human potential.

From the TED Talks series, her very inspiring speech:

Advertisements