What inspires you?

Muhammad Yunus: If you see only the one side and the one section of it – the misery, hopelessness, and devastations, and disasters, and how terrible the life is at the very bottom, of course you’ll go crazy by seeing that repeatedly. But luckily for me while I see that, at the same time I see the other part. Things that are happening. People are getting happier. Children are going to school. Their children are growing up healthier. The nature of the house is changing. It looks prettier house. It used to be a tattered house; now it’s cleaner house with toilets and drinking water. So I see a tremendous amount of excitement, tremendous amount of ability in human beings even when I’m among the poor persons. The fact that once they make one tiny step, how happy they get. And if you can (35:58) place yourself at a role that you make it happen in some way . . . in some indirect way, you’ll play some role and you’ll feel very happy that you made that happen, and you’ll want to do more. It’s a very intoxicating experience. Once you do some, you’ll want to do more because it’s such a . . . such an experience for yourself. So these are the message that you bring out to people, and you see a lot of people are supporting you. They would like to help. They would like to come up and say, “How do we do more?” And you explain it to them. And many people over these years, now that I’m doing it, many people come up . . . “Do you remember I met you 10 years back, 15 years back and you changed my life and started this? And I’m running a program in this country? I used to work for a bank. I used to work for a company. I left the job and I am doing this.” So that makes me feel happy that I played a role in his life or in her life in making a decision, and she’s enjoying it . . . and he’s enjoying it. That’s the best part of it. So I feel happy. I see both sides of it. Things used to go wrong, very badly. Now things are coming into shape and the processes have started. And the road has been built through which, step-by-step, they are going. In Bangladesh there is a tremendous amount of poverty, but the poverty is declining very steadily so it makes me feel happy. We are one country which will be achieving millennium development goal to reduce poverty by half by 2015. So that’s an exciting thing to happen that you see step-by-step every year we are coming closer and closer to millennium development goal number one – reducing poverty by half. And we are also achieving all other millennium development goals so that by the time we come to 2015, we achieve all the eight millennium development goals. That’s a very happy thing to happen, and we are going to make sure we don’t kind of miss this opportunity to get there. We absolutely want to make sure that all the millennium development goals are achieved in a very comfortable way, not in a kind of last minute rush to that. We go step-by-step. We are right on the track right now. So these are the things which makes me feel very happy.

 

Recorded on: 1/23/08

 

 

 

Despite devastations and disasters, Yunus alslo sees children going to school and growing up healthier.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Why are women are more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Space toilets: How astronauts boldly go where few have gone before

A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.

Videos
  • When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
  • Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
  • Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Keep reading Show less