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Are You Anxious? The World is Much Better Than We Realize

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Is it the best of times or the worst of times? Wars in Ukraine and Gaza. Tensions with China. Skyrocketing debt loads. Global warming. Politicians who seem corrupt and may end up either in the White House or in jail. Young people look at the state of the world and are anxious. And who can …
By sethbarnes

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Is it the best of times or the worst of times? Wars in Ukraine and Gaza. Tensions with China. Skyrocketing debt loads. Global warming. Politicians who seem corrupt and may end up either in the White House or in jail.

Young people look at the state of the world and are anxious. And who can blame them? It looks back

University of Virginia professor Robert Parham looks at the world through a different lens. His perspective is one that we need:

Whenever I speak with my students they seem deeply pessimistic about the state of the world. Climate change is going to kill us all; late-stage capitalism is running amok; inequality is at an all-time high; AI is coming for our jobs; and on and on and on.

I then pose a simple thought experiment to them: If you were given a time machine that could take you back to any period in the last 12,000 years—since the dawn of civilization—when would you rather live?

You see, I believe we currently live in the golden age of humanity. Things have never been better for human beings. Yet it seems we have never felt worse about our prospects.

If you’re a woman, go back more than about 100 years and you become property (of your father and, later, your husband), with no voting rights and little protection under the law. If you’re a person with above-average melanin levels, like me, the same (and worse) happens to you. Gender-nonconforming minorities would find the past just as terrible.

Based on every objective measure of well-being—safety, health, wealth—if you are a college student in America today you are better off and wealthier than the king of England was 300 years ago.

History is filled with stories of sickness, wars and more bad news that would fit in a news show. But humans have never have never had it better than we have it today. We are living longer, have more freedom, more access to opportunity and more reasons to be happy than any prior generation.

Poverty and hunger are declining. Education worldwide is skyrocketing. The statistics are in stark contrast to what media would have us believe – we are making great progress on so many fronts!

Need some facts to encourage you? Here is a website that chronicles some of the trends that show us God loves us and is at work on our planet. We have much to celebrate!

Photo – compliments of Joice Kelly 

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