The world has never been better
“What a wonderful world…” Those were the words sung by jazz great Louis Armstrong. He meant it! Alas, there are too many people today conversing about how the world is falling apart at the seams and if only we could return to the good old days. Well folks, the world has actually never been better.
For those of you who enjoy a good read, please immerse yourself in Yuval Noah Hariri’s book: Sapiens. The great anthropologist and historian talks about how 1,700 years ago Romans fed Christians to lions for fun because of their beliefs, the average life expectancy only 300 years ago was less than 40, in the early 1900s eradicated diseases of today were wiping out humans at an alarming rate, not to mention at this same time in history women and First Nations people were not granted suffrage.
Furthermore, more than 50 million people died during WWII, in a span of only six years. Nowadays only about 300,000 people per year die from war related fatalities, which is obviously still too much, but far less than just 70 years ago. Heck, in the 1980s most NFL owners believed African-Americans weren’t smart enough to quarterback a pro football team! Consider our ability to cultivate food, literacy rates of today, charitable donations, etc. Let’s also consider the medical breakthroughs and technology that save the lives of the good people we love. And I don’t know about you, but Facetime and Skype keep me connected with friends and family who I miss dearly, living all over the globe. Thank you Yuval for corroborating the Wonderful World motif.
Sure, we have our problems and complications today: environmental issues, racism, war, famine, pestilence, cyber attacks and so forth. However, it’s not nearly as bad as the public media and social media make it out to be. In fact, as Yuval mentions, statistics prove human quality of life is the best it’s ever been. Social justice, employment benefits, workers’ rights, freedom of the press/speech, dentistry, and the list goes on, are all relatively new to human existence. Embrace these positives!
Even regarding the environment, as humans we are fully aware of the necessary and strategic changes we must endorse to alleviate the situation. Surely, this is a positive step in the right direction. Although, the media will never let us forget about our blunders by reminding us each and every day about the tragic events which occur, rather than the efforts of great scientists and charitable leaders making the world a better place. Every once in a while someone like Louis Armstrong reminds us where we live.