The Birthplace Lottery

in #hl-exclusive2 months ago

I should consider myself lucky.

I won the "Birthplace Lottery".

By being born Canadian I am one of the lucky few who get to live in a prosperous and peaceful nation.

Indeed I looked at ChatGPT to see what it considered the "winning ticket" countries were and were given this list:

  • Nordic Countries (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway)
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Netherlands
  • Luxembourg
  • Switzerland
  • Singapore

Overall chance to be born into one of those countries is less than 4%

I think that means I was lucky enough to be born into a good country.

But What If I Got To Choose?

I stopped to think about what I liked in life and again asked ChatGPT what country it thought would be a good fit for me:


I had a little laugh to myself and then thought it must seem like I'm bragging

So I had to do some soul searching to think if I got to choose anywhere where would I choose to be reborn? who would I choose to be?

I could make the easy choice

The Nordic Countries

How could I go wrong with them?

Norway, Sweden, Denmark and such.

Great people. Socially advanced. Technologically advanced. Environmentally aware. Excellent healthcare and standard of living. What's not to like?

except that when security is virtually guaranteed where is the challenge in life?

Or perhaps Japan

Technologically advanced. Excellent education system. Orderly and clean. Plus they have anime. Breathtaking mountains and longest lifespan on earth. How could I not want to try out Japan?

Except the crushing weight of social expectation may be too much for me.

So Many Great Choices

The culture and history of Italy. The tropical paradise that is Costa Rica. The gleaming city state of Singapore. The technological and manufacturing powerhouse that is China. The economic powerhouse of United States.

But every country has their problems. There is no perfect place to be.

I think I'll Make the Unusual Choice

I was going to choose the Ukraine

To which people would say why on earth would I want to choose a country ravaged by war?

My answer because when the war is over its a time of healing and rebuilding. A sense of solidarity and purpose. I think I'd like to be part of a country that is healing

But after a little more consideration I'm going to make a different decision.



Source: Pixabay

Now my first guess is that you have never heard of this country.

It doesn't come up on any tourism guides.
It doesn't show up at the Olympic games.
It isn't renounced for any industry
It doesn't have any well known historic or artistic figures

In fact it is a tiny little country with little to show for itself.

By simple comparison: The country of Nauru vs the city of Lagos, Nigeria. The city of Lagos is 60 times larger the entire country of Nauru which is only 8 square miles. The population of Lagos is almost 1,400x larger that Nauru which only has 10,000 people.

Indeed Nauru would barely be considered a small town in Canada and not even a village in many countries.

It also doesn't have much to show for itself.

Most of its land is not useable because of prior mining operations. In fact 80% of the landmass is of limited value. It is an island country but again the mining killed off much of the marine life.

It can't produce enough food to feed itself. It can't produce enough energy to support itself.

On paper it would be a very sad place to grow up or live in.


It is a fully acknowledged country by the United Nations which means it has a true seat on the world stage. That means something

It's population is small enough that one person could unite the country. One person could know all the citizens. If one good leader could unite the people to create an environmentally sustainable gem of a country. To take it from being a place that no-one has heard of to one for the record that could get people talking.

Right now it has one of the fattest populations on earth and the life expectancy isn't great.

If a leader changed the people's lifestyle and diet from fat to fit it could make records.... Imagine being known for fittest country on earth.

If a leader could transition from being reliant on other countries for aid to being self sufficient.... Especially if being a net zero pollution revolution. Could you imagine living in a country that was the greenest on earth and totally self sufficient?

Nauru isn't wonderful.
Actually from what I've read it seems like it would be pretty miserable to be from there as it is now.

But the country and its population are small enough that it would be possible to get everyone onboard for change. I would love to get a chance to be reborn into that kind of situation where a turnaround of unimaginable proportions could happen

Side notes: Other advantages of Nauru's small size...

  • Little / No Wars -- I mean why bother invading?
  • Little / No Organized crime -- Seriously? How much are you going to make and how are you going to hide from law officials.
  • Little / No illicit drugs -- The country is small enough everyone will know if you have a problem and drug dealers will be found out in no time.
  • Low Crime rate -- In a country so small everyone is related or knows each other. Plus it would be hard not to get caught. I mean if you steal someone's car how are you going to explain that one 😄

Maybe its silly but if I was reincarnated into the community, kept my inquisitive nature and desire to make things better with zero pollution I think Nauru could make an interesting showcase to the rest of the world to show how you can take something that's been ravaged by mismanagement and turn it into something beautiful.

Something I think the world really needs to see


And you just have to bring Lagos into it, lol.
Never heard about this country before, guess I will have to read up on them and see if me too will wish to come from there 😂

You can look but I can pretty much guarantee that the answer will be NO you do not want to come from there.

I have heard about many many of Nigeria's problems from my friends there. However, Nauru has a whole different set of problems. I mentioned Lagos only because many of the Nigerian crew will know it. But Nauru is only 1/60th of its size in land and 1/1400th of its size in people.

That's nothing.

Imagine being stuck in the same small town each and every day.
Imagine that town has been ravaged by mining so the natural beauty of the land has been stolen and even the bounty of the sea has been diminished.
Imagine knowing that without international aid everyone you know dies of starvation because your country simply cannot feed itself.

..and remember you have no where else to go. You can walk around the entire country on its one road in less than a day. You can walk from the top to the bottom of the country in less than two hours.

There is nothing new to explore there. No new people to meet there.

It would likely be mind numbingly depressing and monotonous.

I chose it because I think it could undergo a transformation. It could be beautiful. It could become the envy of the world.***. It could show the world how to go from uninspired and bleak to creative and beautiful.

I would choose to be there because if I could become part of that small crew who could showcase to the world a better way that would be beautiful beyond anything that I could ever get even in a wonderful developed country......and only a country small enough that everyone can work together and know each other has a chance to pull off that miracle.

....but for anyone ever actually wanting to leave their country and go there.... I think I'd prefer visiting in least there I can explore a big beautiful country ... even if I'd be terrified the whole time

I thought I'd pop over to see if you were creative. It seems you are.

After all, your imagination is pretty unique and you have crafted an interesting piece that has me wondering why I've never before heard of Nauru.

I love reading something that makes my mind wonder and wander in new directions.

Source: Google Maps.

As I see your an English teacher I'll hit you up with some semantics.

I believe I'm imaginative without being creative. While similar I think they are very different.

I love looking at every possible angle to a problem and every possible solution--no matter how odd. Which is how I come up with places like Nauru which few people have heard of.

However to create and be artistic.
... Word pictures like you were able to do so well in your article.
... Or bring colours to life on canvas
... Or use musical notes to create emotion and beauty

My talents lie elsewhere I'm afraid.

But in my years of life I've learned something.

... I'm OK with that. I like my analytical problem solving nature. I love being imaginative when looking at writing an article or solving a problem.

Even if it does mean I often start dragging up numbers and statistics in my writing


Thanks for dropping by and the kind words. I really do appreciate it 😄