World Population Day is an annual event, observed on July 11th every year, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program in 1989. It was inspired by public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987, approximately the date on which the world’s population reached five billion people.
As a Sub-Saharan African native from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, I have always observed that society as a whole has always had a mindset that population growth sometimes takes on negative connotations, especially in third-world countries where populations are considered to be brimming. However, I believe that population growth has positive effects on societies. These include economic benefits such as expansion of tax bases and increased consumer spending at local businesses, as well as benefits derived from innovations by cultures seeking to keep up with growing populations.
Experiencing the different walks of life in my society, I came to realize that population growth as a whole is very much beneficiary because not only does it add diversity to my society, but also to the world at large. Our society is more enjoyable when we are able to learn about the lives of people in different cultures and, if possible, experience and learn from these cultures. However, when certain cultures become extinct, we miss out on important life lessons we could learn from them.
Not forgetting that with some of our brightest minds dying each day due to tragedy or the natural aging process, it is important that the world has a new generation of people continuing to ensure the morality of society. The world will always need people who have the integrity to defend the rights of those who society sometimes ignores, including the disabled and refugees, just to name a few, because of the segregation they encounter. We can learn to love them unconditionally and try to understand their situations because they too are blessings to the world.
As humans, we were designed with the need to enjoy healthy relationships. We may have the latest gadgets which allow us to communicate with each other, but it is not the same as a warm hug, a beautiful smile or a meaningful face-to-face conversation. This is why we need people.
By: Buhlebenkosi Mhlanga, current intern at WYA Africa and an active member from Zimbabwe