Who Is “The Population”?

peopleEvery culture perceives birth differently. For some cultures, the birth of a human being is a blessing and the perpetuation of the human race. For others, it’s an indicator of an under-developed country. For some religions, it’s a natural obligation and to try to limit it is a crime. In many cultures today, it is often taught that a high number of births is a cause of poverty.

All cultures need to value the human being as the centre of the world. His dignity is intrinsic  from conception to death. Today, each of us is one in 7 billion. Every one of those 7 billion matter.

There have been many measures implemented across the globe to control the continuous growth of the population. These drastic population control policies  violate the principal of human dignity. Most of the policies lead to injustices and to a decrease of respect for human life. For example, in China, the one child policy and the preference for this child to be a boy led to a huge gap between the birth rates of boys and girls. Instead of seeing the human being as a mouth to feed and a drain on resources, he should be seen as a mind to be valued.

Human beings hold the solution. They should be valorized and seen as assets. In 1957, Isamu managing director of Toyo Menka Kaisha said that “instead of thinking our population is too large for our economy; I believe it is more correct to say the scale of our economy is too small for our population. Instead of surplus, unwanted persons, we should view our people as our most valuable natural resource.”  Asian countries soon proved this statement to be true. Although their population kept growing, they were able to reduce poverty by regenerating the economy. The West predicted a very bleak future for them. However, this “Asian miracle” restored faith in the human race.

Population control policies tend to disregard many inherent and basic rights in the name of “deletion of poverty”. But, who sets the priorities? Shouldn’t the human being, who is at the centre of this world, be the priority? It is up to the leaders of this world to endorse a positive vision of the human being. Sometimes, the problem and the solution are inextricably linked.

Marie-Line Rizk is a WYA Certified Member from Lebanon.