We’ve looked at how many things go right in a given day and all the useful things that are in our immediate vicinity, today we’ll expand these out to a larger perspective.
I often say that many more things go right than go wrong, and I think this holds true even when we look at the bigger picture.
- Think of how many times you have driven or ridden somewhere and arrived safely. This should vastly outnumber the number of times something has gone wrong on the way.
- Think of the number of people you pass every day who do not assault, harass or insult you in any way. Once again, this number should be vastly higher than the number of people who give you trouble. If it is not, you probably need to consider moving. Come to Texas, we’re all pretty nice here. Actually, don’t. It’s getting crowded.
- We are living longer and longer as a species and we seem to be constantly curing or at least figuring out how to hold off different diseases until we can cure them. Even the big diseases and outbreaks we hear about on the news do not make a dent on the world population. Remember when Ebola was going to kill all of us? I would be curious to know if anyone who reads this even knows someone who caught Ebola, much less died from it. For the record, because of a week-long reading binge of The Hot Zone and The Demon in the Freezer, I am terrified of Ebola and Small Pox.
- If you are reading this in the United States, there is a good chance an outbreak of disease has not affected you in a very long time. I understand that there are places in the world that are much more vulnerable to diseases and other kinds of instability, but in the balance life is improving there as well – remember we are talking about long-term, general direction stuff here. Some countries are enduring absolutely hellish conditions as we speak, but I think the positive trajectory holds true on a large scale.
- We are, collectively, horrified by what we see in these countries where the hellish conditions prevail. We see so much of what is going on as fundamentally wrong, and many people offer help to people they do not know and will never meet through various charities and NGOs or through actually traveling there and trying to help. It is fascinating that we are empathetic as a species, this is not the norm in nature. It is a human thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there are stories of dolphins helping swimmers and there’s that dog that travels all over town picking up scraps for its friends, but call me when a group of bonobos gets together and makes a structured and consistent effort to assist a group of elephants 1000 mile away.Humans get a bad rap, but we do a lot of cool shit.
None of this is meant to minimize or dismiss the horrific amounts of suffering in the world, or assert that there are not terrible diseases and ideologies and human beings out there. It is to say that, as a whole, I think that good is winning. We can watch the news about Syria and Zika and earthquakes and Russia, but when we stop and look at our lives a whole lot more goes right than goes wrong. The very fact that the news reports all the bad stuff is because it interests us, and part of this has to be because it is out of our norm.
For every one war criminal or religious nut job or mass shooter or Kardashian, there are thousands and thousands of people who love their family and don’t text and drive and volunteer somewhere and try to use their time and money to help others.
The world will never be perfect, but the good guys are winning. Not even November 8th, 2016 can wreck this.