The Giving Pledge

In May of 2009, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and David Rockefeller held a meeting of the world’s wealthiest people, all of whom are billionaires.
They held a second meeting in November.
Then a third in December.
The meetings grew into the biggest fundraising drive in history - encouraging the world’s wealthiest people to pledge the majority of their wealth to causes that address society’s most pressing problems.

"It was suggested that they can decide how much money they and their descendants need, and then figure out what to do with the rest of it.
Warren Buffet, although pledging 99% of his assets, noted that it won’t impact the lifestyles of him or his children. "
And, that many people give a greater proportion of their money, time, or talents to help others.

"When asked what people who don’t have much money can do, Ted Turner replied, “One thing they can do is pick up trash. That's what I do. We're in New York now and yesterday I walked around the block and I picked up trash and put it in the garbage”"

As of 2017, 173 of the very wealthy pledged the majority of their wealth.”
Many of them said that worth and satisfaction is not defined by dollars, but by helping others and improving the world.

For more information about their efforts to making the world a better place, see the website

Eradicating a Virus (Death of a Virus)

He traveled from Mexico to New York, checked into a hotel then developed a rash that turned it to blisters as hard as buckshot. Five days after checking in, he died.
Meanwhile, 3,000 people from 28 states had also booked into the hotel.
The web of exposure spread, leaving the entire city - 6 million people at risk.

He was only one many visitors and war refugees that spread the disease worldwide, resulting in at least 10 million cases a year. It was one of the worst infectious diseases to attack humans. And, between 1880 and 1980, it killed about a half-a-billion people - over three times the number killed in all of the wars during the same period of time.
Those that survived were immune, but for thousands of years the virus survived, being passed from one person to another, without a residual supply in any other animal or nature.

In 1967, the World Health Organization set a goal to eradicate it within ten years.
At first, many governments wanted to do mass vaccinations, but that proved slow and unsuccessful.
So, the team invented the ring vaccination technique.
Wherever an outbreak was found, they vaccinated every person they could find in a community.
In this way, they surrounded each outbreak with a wall of people who were immune.

Children between seven and twelve years of age seemed to know everything that was going on in the villages and helped to report new breakouts.
In 1952, five years after the arrival of the man from Mexico, the virus was eradicated in North America.
The following year, it was eradicated in Europe. But, during the next five years, it was reintroduced 23 times, resulting in 400 cases.
Four years after WHO setting the goal, in 1971, South America was declared free of the virus.
Asia in 1975.
And, in Africa, the last case occurred in 1977.

A little over two years later, on May 8, 1980, the World Health Organization declared that a disease had been eradicated.
No cases of smallpox had occurred anywhere on earth for more than two years or have been reported since - part of the trend toward a better world.

Infant Mortality

Did you see the October 2017 UNICEF report about childhood mortality rates?
One of the ongoing UN goals has been to decrease the rate of childhood mortality, including infants who die before their first birthday.
Causes of death include birth complications, nutrition, and disease.
Prevention includes clean water, hygiene, breastfeeding, vaccinations, oral rehydration, and antibiotics.
By 1950, the number of deaths dropped to 14 out of 100 births.
In 2000, it was five.
In 2015, 3.5
And, the 2017 UNICEF report stated it had dropped almost another 1/2 % - to 3.05.
For every 14 babies that would have died in 1950, almost 11 were saved.
Almost ten million fewer babies died in 2016, than in 1950.
Reduced infant mortality is just one, of many, areas of progress towards a better world.

The Purpose of This Website

Do you like working on crosswords, suduko, or other puzzles?
For many of us, completing them provides an intrinsic satisfaction.
And sometimes, we even design puzzles for no reason other than the pleasure of solving a them.
For example, one of my IPAD applications converts my photographs into jigsaw puzzles for me to put back together again.
And, on a global scale, people work together, setting up challenges then figuring out how to reach their goals.
As a consequence, as Bill Gates wrote, “By nearly every measure the world is a better place to live than every before.”
In his September 2017 blog, he wrote that armed with an understanding of how many challenges we have overcome so far, we’re inspired to do whatever we can to help solve today’s problems and prevent tomorrow’s.
One issue, as I see it, is that sometimes we’re so focused on the current problems, that we forget how bad it used to be. And how much progress has been made.
The purpose of this website is to provide examples of the trends toward a better world.
Progress helps me to feel optimistic about our future.
I hope it helps you to feel optimistic too.