May 26, 2021

If you could say something to 7.9 billion people, what would you say?

As of today, the planet Earth, which we call our home, is home to 7.9 billion people in 195 different countries. From the ancient years the interaction of all these populations and the communication of people was one of the most intense phenomena that is deeply rooted in our nature. Over the years humanity accomplished to link itself even more with trade, immigration and the permanent interaction between citizens, which is very optimistic for the coexistence of all of us in this world. To the above obstacles were added more than 7 thousand different spoken languages and dialects that made communication even more difficult, a fact however that was overcome with the persistence and effort of people to socialize.

However, people still face problems and situations that keep them away from others. The differences of countries that lead to wars, the decline of the world economy that separates people violently into social layers, the violation of human rights that still cannot be faced. All these are examples of division and opposition in human relations, which forecasts an ominous future for our home. That is why I would like to ask the following question: If you could say something to 7.9 billion people at once, something that would give a dose of hope and optimism for the future, what would you say?

It’s a theoretical question that makes anyone think. Obviously, such a scenario is practically impossible, because not all citizens of the world have access to suitable technology and not all can be tuned simultaneously. What could, however, someone say, addressing all their fellow-citizens in order to pass a hopeful message? How could someone stimulate the morale of such a big audience?

Paradoxically, there are examples of people that went down in history, because, even deferred, they tried to speak out and bring humanity closer in their own way. Such is the contribution of people like Martin Luther King Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi, who went down in history for their fight for equality and freedom where there was a need. The continuous persistence for the equality of persons of colour in the United States of America and the battles for the release of India from the British possession are simple examples that unity and humanity exceeded every expectation and bridged over differences and inequalities. Going back in history, there are countless political figures, activists, scientists, and even religious leaders who have addressed the world and made a remarkable contribution to the course of history. But perhaps universal revolution and high status may not be the only way for ambition and hope.

One does not have to be a Μessiah to offer such help to people. It is not necessary to be a public figure or to be worshiped wherever one appears. One does not even have to have all the 7.9 billion people hanging on to their every word to make the change they want. Everyone can, with their small contribution, inspire and reassure the person next to them and be an important link in this chain.

Hope, optimism and positivity are extremely contagious, and it is not difficult to adopt such a way of thinking. Of course, no one can be sure of what the future holds, and there will always be unexpected obstacles and difficulties that lead to doubt and pessimism. A typical example is the unpredictable year of 2020, when the entire world was facing the health crisis of Covid-19 and there are still no definite results of this effort. However, it is worth trying to see “the glass half full,” so as not to sink into problems and difficulties. So, if there was a way to be heard all over the world and give a message of positivity, it would be very important to stress that as long as there is hope and faith among people, problems and difficulties will be solvable.

Photography by Simeon Maniatis

Vasilis Orfanidis

Recently turned 18, born and raised in Thessaloniki and he loves that city. He’s a first-year student in the department of Physics, the mother of all sciences, which has been his dream since he was a child. He’s someone with greatly high energy levels without always knowing where to channel it, something that makes him hyperactive. He loves electronic music and is an amateur dj (self-taught, don’t judge) while he’s also a devoted supporter of the Marvel cinematic universe (Team Captain America). The most important force for him is inspiration and it’s the only thing he wants to transmit to the people around him.

Athina Perdikari (she/her)

Passionate about life and in love with food, sensitive at heart but will only show it to her people. Music, nature and reading give her courage. She wants to travel the world and meet new people but will always come back to her first love, Thessaloniki. A perfectionist, an observant and a sceptic, found her enthusiasm in translation.

Maro Karipsiadi (she/her).

Law student at AUTH but will definitely break Monopoly rules. Her favourite form of expression is music and she believes that anything is possible if you work hard for it, unless you want a bite of her burger.

Leave a comment

Get in touch

This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.