Good news: Extreme poverty can be eliminated in 15 years

I recently watched a TED talk featuring the rock star Bono talking about poverty – talking about good news about poverty. Good news about poverty? For as long as I can remember there have been commercials, speeches and movements to change the face of extreme poverty. People have been battling oppression and poverty for long before my time. The sad thing is that I have never heard any good news.

Activists would act and protesters would protest but never did it seem like we could put an end to extreme poverty. There have been little victories along the way but they never seemed to make much progress. It always seems like a cycle repeating over and over; but this is exciting! Finally, we have something good to hear about the fight to end extreme poverty. And boy, does it ever get me excited!

According to the data that Bono presents, no one in the world will be living in extreme poverty by 2028. That’s 15 years from now. That is soon. I’m sure you have plenty of questions about the numbers. I suggest you watch the video and listen to Bono as he unleashes his “inner nerd.”

Of course, there are potential problems that could throw us off this 15 year trajectory. That’s where we can come in. How do we respond to this news? Do we just let it travel in one ear and out the other? Do we get excited and not talk about it with others?

I think that this news is so uplifting and maybe if we are encouraged by this news we should share it. We share all sorts of good news; we tell people when our favourite NHL team is doing well (mine isn’t), we share a funny meme we see on Facebook. Why not share information which can and will save lives?

This news has sparked in me a new hope that supporting organizations devoted to the elimination of extreme poverty will make a difference. It will make a different because it has. If we are more hopeful when asked to help those helping the needy then that could at least keep the trend strong. We can see zero per cent of the world living in soul-crushing poverty by 2028. Maybe, if we are optimistic and active, we can get there sooner.

Watch Bono’s TED Talk here:

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