Over the last few weeks the news has seemed pretty bleak. There have been shootings, ax attacks and people being driven down in their cars. Isis seems to be as strong as ever and it's hard to forget about global warming during the hottest summer in recent history. And all of that is before you get started on politics which may not be the worst of it, but it certainly doesn't seem to be likely to solve it.
But that's all in your perspective. None of those things are good of course. No one wants to see anyone be hurt or scared. But the problem is that as a society it seems like we are focused on the negatives. It's easy to see why we dwell on the one hate filled person who decides to go into a bar and start shooting. It's dramatic, it's traumatic and everyone agrees that it's terrible.
But that last part might be worth focusing on too. Virtually everyone agrees that minorities, whether they are homosexual, black, French, German, Christian, Muslim deserve to be safe. That is the reason that it hurts so much to see that they aren't. That's why we fight over how best to fix the problem.
There is something else that a lot of people seem to be missing in the doom and gloom of an election year. Things are getting better in almost every way. It may be hard to believe if you watch the news but violent crime is down and life expectancy is up. There are people that really believe that we can end extreme poverty by 2030 and as much as everyone may dislike the current choices in political candidates the country isn't going to end by making a bad choice because our founding fathers had to the good sense to build in checks and balances into the system.
It's time for all of us try to remember that we live in a time when we can cure diseases, where the blind can see and the deaf can hear. I can pick up a phone and hunt virtual monsters and make new friends doing it or go online and play board games with people on the other side of the world. I can buy a car that will literally drive itself down the freeway or go into a virtual reality. We have private companies that can not only send rockets into space but land them safely. We have people who are actually afraid of what we will do when robots take all of our jobs. We live in an age of wonders where we have become so accustom to miracles that we forget that in many ways that is exactly what they are.
Sure the world sucks some days, and when someone evil decides to hurt people we should be angry. It is right to want bigotry to go away and for better choices in our political leaders. But even on the worst day it's important to remind ourselves that we live in the safest, most peaceful, most enlightened and most advanced time in human history. We need to remember that the reason it's so traumatic when someone drives into a crowd of people is because it doesn't happen all the time. So cry with the people who are in pain, and donate blood and money if you can. But try to remember that on the same day that one person does something hateful that, just in the USA there were also 6200 weddings and someone is born every 7 seconds and in every one of those terrible events there are far more people who risk their lives to help than are trying to hurt people.