It is easy to be depressed about the state of the world. The European economy is threatening to implode, dragging the rest of the world into a deep recession. The Iranians say they have no plans for developing a nuclear weapon, but no one believes them. The American people are convinced that the country's best days are behind her. And, if the global warming experts are to be believed, we are about to enter a frightening period of hurricanes, tsunamis and drought. Depressing indeed.
But there is another side to the story. Earth's greatest natural resource is not oil or gas or gold or platinum. Earth's greatest natural resource is the brainpower of the nearly seven billion people who inhabit the planet. The solution to every problem we face rests inside the mind of a brilliant, inventive soul somewhere in this world.
What's exciting, revolutionary in fact, is that vastly more people than ever before now have the chance to put their brainpower to work.
In India, Pakistan, Brazil, Qatar, Russia, China and a hundred other countries, young people have real hope for a better future. Hundreds of millions of people who would never have had a chance for an education even a generation ago, now believe they can put their intellect to work to improve not only their own lives but the future of their countries as well. The consequence of this explosion of opportunity can only be imagined. Medicines will be invented that will prevent or cure some of our most threatening diseases. Solutions to complex environmental problems will be uncovered. Economies will grow and, as they do, violence will recede. No, the world won't be perfect. Difficult problems will persist. But, because more people will be participating in the pursuit of knowledge, the world will be far better than most people expect.