Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Food for thought


On the aforementioned trip to Oxford today, I came across this poster on the door in the loo (er.. bathroom). No, I hadn't taken my camera in there with me - although that wouldn't be the weirdest place I have taken it. I took this picture with my phone. In case you can't read it, it says:

If your home has something other than a dirt floor, you are in the top half of the world's population
If your home has a roof, a door, windows and more than one room, you are in the top 20%
If you have refrigeration, you are in the top 5%
If you have a car, a microwave, a video, a computer and this toilet has a cubicle door, then you are in the top 1%.
At the bottom is a Mahatma Ghandi quote: "We must be the change we want to see in the world"

I'm assuming that, although it isn't mentioned, this top x% refers to material wealth. There's a lot that could be said about the chosen wording, in spite of which, this is a sobering way of representing this data.

2 comments:

V Yonkers said...

Although I hate to admit it, there are many houses in the poorer sections of the US which have doors and windows, but dirt floors. If you go to the census data for the US and look at Louisianna, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Arkansas, you will find there is a % of households without utilities (electricity and/or telephones, water, in door pumbing) and who have dirt floors. This is why I wonder about the where these stats came from. The other assumption is that you have a home!

But it does make us take stock of what we have in comparison to the rest of the world.

Karyn Romeis said...

>The other assumption is that you have a home!

You are so right! I'm usually the one who leaps up onto that soapbox first. I decided not to this time, and am so relieved that you did! So I'm not the only one in this space who thinks like that! The poster appears to have been the work of this organisation, so perhaps the source of their data could be tracked down...