The Nobel Peace Prize was recently awarded to two individuals – Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year-old Pakastani who was attacked by the Taliban for advocating the education of Muslim girls, and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian actively fighting against the exploitation of children.
Yousafzai is the youngest to ever receive a Nobel Prize. Her story is filled with incredible displays of bravery, strength and gumption. Satyarthi’s story is also honorable with his many peaceful protests reminiscent of Ghandi.
These were two out of thirteen winners awarded Nobel Prizes this year. Four of those winners were from the United States.
It’s easy to think the only newsworthy ideas, events and people are in the U.S. We’re prominent. We’re loud. We’re proud.
Let’s beat a dead horse. The Ebola coverage reveals something about us. While more than 3,400 people in Africa have died from Ebola, attention to the disease only peaked on Twitter when news broke that the virus had come to the U.S., according to social media analytics service Topsy. Kent Brantly’s main goal when he came to ACU’s campus was to say just the opposite: this isn’t about us.
This is a lesson the United States as a whole needs to learn.
The U.S. has produced the highest number of Nobel prize winners – 353 in all – dwarfing other countries. The second highest winning country is the the U.K., who’s had 113.
It’s not surprising we’ve had so many successes. We have a large population, available resources and a conducive environment. But the gap between the number of awards we’ve received and the rest of the world seems grossly disproportional.
Though four of this year’s winners were from the United States, last year’s Nobel prizes were awarded to nine Americans. Hopefully that’s a trend that will continue, and we’ll get better at sharing the spotlight.
Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi are the best kind of reminders that the world has so much more to offer than the U.S.