November 16, 2014
People love to complain about how horrible everything is all the time.
And there are certainly plenty of horrible things to complain about. People are mean, for example. And people get sick. And there are horrible accidents and injustices and tragedies and unfairness everywhere. And there is Ebola.
People who love to complain about how horrible everything is also love to point out that the world is always changing — and change is of course always horrible, because it destroys the way things used to be.
It’s easy to get depressed by all the “everything is horrible” talk.
So it’s nice to sometimes remind ourselves that some things — many things, in fact — are getting better all the time.
Over at the Oxford Martin School, Max Roser has put together a provocative article and presentation titled “It’s a cold hard fact: Our world is becoming a better place.”
Roser includes lots of facts that will drive the haters crazy.
But he’s right, of course.
Our world is becoming a better place. For humans, at least. (No one’s saying it’s getting better for plants and animals).
Take violent war deaths, for example.
Even one violent war death is too many.
But, happily, on average, the number of violent war deaths worldwide is declining:
And poverty. Poverty is improving. There are still billions of depressingly poor people, of course. But the percent of the world’s population living in extreme poverty continues to decline:
And life expectancies are going through the roof!
There are thousands of examples like that.
So complain all you want about how horrible everything is. There’s certainly a lot left to fix. But as you complain, remember:
The world is getting better all the time.