A Billion Faces

taiwan scooters

Scooters at an intersection in Taipei, Taiwan -Nicky Loh/Reuters

I had the privilege of sharing about our life in missions with a group of children last week.  During my presentation, I pointed to a map of the world and asked the kids if anyone knew the population.

Some of my favorite answers included:

123, 402 thousand… uh.  Random.

1 million… also the population of the city I lived in for four years in Taiwan.

1 billion… better known as a quote from Austin Powers.

A Gazillion… possibly not a real number.

6 million (there must only be 5 more cities in the world)… but I gently informed them that the capitol of Taiwan had 6 million people alone.

No, there are an estimated 7.09 billion humans walking this earth today.

Why I am fascinated with these numbers, I do not know.  And this post is reminiscent of my post on movie end credits.  But seriously… I wanted to share this incredible slideshow with you.  If names scrolling up a black screen don’t humble you, perhaps this slideshow will.

Many of these pictures bring back fond (and not so fond) memories of living in one of the most densely populated countries in the world.  The scooters at rush hour.  The people smashing together to watch a concert or a sporting event.  The crowded department store.  The piled up train.

It’s hard to imagine this girl from Kansas once lived a life like that.  I grew up in a town of 300 people.  In Taiwan, the building across from us had room for 300 families.  No wonder I needed to drive my scooter out to the mountains once a week, take off my helmet and let the breeze blow through my hair.  It was necessary for survival.  And perspective.  And to get away from all the people.

So please, look at this slideshow… Be amazed.  Be thankful.  Be humbled.  You are literally one in a million (or one in 7.09 billion)




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