The Sacred Path

Journeys through the mist

Gallup’s first world poll

I get the Schwartz Report emailed to me daily and always find it interesting and enlightening, but the one that arrived tonight covers only one news story: The first ever World Poll by Gallup.

Gallup has committed to conducting the World Poll for 100 years and I think you will find quite a bit of what is revealed in this article to be quite interesting. I know I did.

If you read only one thing today, this should be it.


  1. You know, E.F. Schumacher, the author of “Small is Beautiful” and “A Guide for the Perplexed,” used to say that it was amazing how much theory we could dispense with when we set out to do some real work.

    Similarly, this poll shows how much light can be shed by people setting out to find out, first, what really IS, as opposed to what people assume.

    “What do the world’s people actually think? What do they actually want? What actually is the sine que non for progress?”

    “Who knows?”

    “Well — why not ask them?”

    How simple an idea (though complicated to do), and how profound an initial result! Thanks, Rich, for calling this to our attention.

  2. Well — why not ask them?

    Radical concept isn’t it?

  3. I think it worth a few clicks to read my friend Frank’s poem he posted on his blog after we had an email exchange about the World Poll this morning.

  4. It’s interesting that my immediate reaction was to remember how logging in the USA is kept going because of “jobs.” It’s like “jobs” is a magic word that allows us to continue to wreak havoc on the environment. Unfortunely the environment doesn’t get to vote in elections.

  5. Well, Mary Ann, they phrase it as “jobs” but it would be better phrased “meaningful work.” That’s what people really want, but sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the word “meaningful” — especially if you’re trying to feed your family and you feel you have no choice (I’ve been in THAT trap before!) or if in fact you have no idea what meaningful work would be. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful pointed out that, invisibly, our economic assumptions rested on metaphysical assumptions, often quite unconscious. So, he asked (rhetorically) what a Buddhist economics would look like. You know, the concept of work as something good, as a meaningful gift to your life and from your life, a way of working out your salvation. If our society were to become conscious enough to realize that people NEED meaningful work to be fully human, pathological perversions of that need (such as clear-cut logging and fishing to extinction) would gradually disappear, i think.

  6. Yes, I think meaningful work is a much better term than “jobs,” and I agree that as society gains awareness, there will be shifts away from things that harm the earth and by association ourselves.

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