Nick will stop working if you bring justice

Good News

By Nick Cardilino

by Nick Cardilino

My main goal in Campus Ministry's Center for Social Concern is to put myself out of a job. I want to empower students to change the world for the better, motivated by their faith. When I look at the news about the world's social, economic and environmental problems, I know that my job is very secure.

That has been my running joke for the past 25 years. But maybe I do have cause to worry about losing my job. Things really are getting better.

  • In 1990, nearly half of people in developing countries were living on less than $1.25 per day. In these 25 years, nearly a billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, and the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 is now below 14%.
  • Related to that, the number of undernourished people has been cut in half.
  • Globally, life expectancy at birth for both sexes increased 6.2 years from 65.3 years in 1990 to 71.5 years in 2013.
  • The global literacy rate of youth aged 15-24 has improved from 83% to 91%.
  • Between 1990 and 2015, the number of deaths in children under five worldwide declined from 12.7 million in 1990 to almost 6 million in 2015.
  • Between 1990 and 2015, 2.6 billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources.
  • In 1991, the abortion rate was 24 per 1,000 women aged 15-44; in 2012, that rate had dropped to 13.2 per 1,000 women.
  • In 1991, recycling was just getting started in many parts of the country; now it is a given part of the culture.
  • In 1991, there were 16.5 automobile accident fatalities per 100,000 people. It is now down to 10.2.

With these improvements as well as lifestyle improvements (personal computers, cell phones, the internet, etc.), health care improvements (fewer deaths from cancer, malaria, AIDS, etc., laser surgeries, insulin pumps, etc.), and many other things, most people have better lives today than they would have 25 years ago.

I have had the pleasure of watching hundreds of bright, compassionate and faithful students come through our programs and service clubs in the CSC, then graduate and go on to serve--some as full-time volunteers with the Peace Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, etc., some as teachers, some as engineers, some as business people, physicians, politicians and lawyers, some in the arts, some in the Church. Each plays his or her part in making this world better, bringing life, hope, peace, and good news to others.

The world might not have reached the peace and justice of the Kingdom of God or the New Jerusalem as of yet. But sometimes it's helpful to see that God is making progress through us. There is good news!

And I still hope that UD students and alums continue to work toward putting me out of a job.

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