Pablo Neruda, about a glimpse of humanity



From the Nobel Prize winner’s essay, ‘Childhood and Poetry’:


To feel the intimacy of brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses — that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.

That exchange brought home to me for the first time a precious idea: that all of humanity is somehow together…

It won’t surprise you then that I attempted to give something resiny, earthlike, and fragrant in exchange for human brotherhood. Just as I once left the pinecone by the fence, I have since left my words on the door of so many people who were unknown to me, people in prison, or hunted, or alone.


Read more about his essay on Brain Pickings.

Simon Anholt: Which country does the most good for the world?

good country index


Globalization has brought numerous changes across the whole world, be it positive and negative. It frees up nation-states, breaks political and geographical boundaries, and enables an increasingly faster exchange of ideas, monies, products, and people than ever. Nonetheless, it also creates new problems as well: global warming, transnational crime, the overwhelming control of multinational corporations, influx of foreign products and culture, and erosion of traditional values, are just a handful compared to countless effects this trend has brought in in these recent days.

The largest problem, however, is all the nation-states’ failure to well adapt to such phenomenon, and their over-tendencies to focus inwards, rather than outwards. As though ‘every country itself were an island on its own’, according to Simon Anholt, a policy adviser having brought expertise to governments worldwide.

What he wants, right now, is a new approach taken by leaders and societies in response to problems taking place today, not a conventional one that had been in place for two or three centuries or so. One by which domestic and international agenda can be synchronized altogether, one that not only satisfies the people’s well-beings, but also improve the countries’ image abroad. And, most importantly, the country that cares not just for the sake of the nation, in this 21st-century context, but also the rest of humanity.

Firstly, Anholt had released Nation Brand Index in 2005 to list countries which have the most positive image among people overseas. Right now, he has another index on his own hand, measuring which countries contribute the most to the whole world (and not necessarily in financial terms): Good Country Index. Having gathered huge datasets, and analysis by numerous experts across different fields, they have listed nations which contribute the most for the world’s well-beings. And you must be curious which countries rank on the top.

PS: it’s not United States. It’s not even China.


Watch the brilliant TED talk here.